Mauldin's Ryan Norton commits to Tigers

by - Senior Writer -
Norton selected the Tigers over Georgia Tech and South Carolina.

Mauldin High School’s Ryan Norton was with his mom and dad getting ready to eat hot dogs following the Mavericks’ spring game on Friday, and figured there was no time like the present to give Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney a call and let him know that he was going to be a Clemson Tiger.

“I knew for a while that it would be hard to beat Clemson,” Norton said late Friday. “Tonight, I just had that gut feeling that I wanted to go ahead and commit because Clemson is just the best fit for me. Coach Swinney was very excited and welcomed me into the Clemson family.”

Norton (6-4, 275) is considered the top center prospect in the state, and will more than likely play on the interior in college. He was also considering Georgia Tech and South Carolina.

Norton said that being able to make such a huge decision with family and friends around made it even better.

“They were all excited,” he said. “They knew I really liked Clemson and they were all congratulating me and stuff. I wanted to go ahead and commit now because from now on I just want to focus on my team, and I don’t want anything else on my mind. But I am very excited to be a Clemson Tiger.”

Lee Taylor, Norton’s position coach at Mauldin, said it is always gratifying to see one of his players earn a trip to the next level.

“As a coach, any time a kid goes off to college to play, you just feel good for the kid,” Taylor said. “We had Taylor Hudson go off to East Carolina last year, and to see Ryan go to Clemson is awesome, especially in seeing where he has come from since he was a 9th-grader. He was playing the C Team, and he never played junior varsity, and then as a 10th grader was thrown onto the varsity. It is really fulfilling to me to see him commit to such a great program.”

Taylor said the fact that the Clemson coaches kept in contact with Norton almost from the beginning made a huge difference.

“He weighed a lot of other schools, but Clemson showed a lot of interest and took care of him from the beginning,” Taylor said. “He got along with the coaches, and I think staying home was important to him. The coaches also did a great job of staying on him, and letting him know they were interested in him.”

2011 Football Commitments

Shaq Anthony        OL   6-5 260 Piedmont, SC (Wren HS)
Brandon Ellerbe     ATH  6-1 200 Wadesboro, NC (Anson HS)
Marlin Lane         RB   6-1 190 Daytona Beach, FL (Mainland HS)
Eric MacLain        TE   6-5 245 Fayetteville, NC
Jerome Maybank      DT   6-4 310 Pawley's Island (Waccamaw HS)
Tony McNeal         QB   6-1 180 Chester, SC (Chester, HS)
Ryan Norton         OL   6-4 275 Mauldin, SC (Mauldin HS)
Robert Smith        ATH  6-0 180 Ft Dorchester, SC (Woodland HS)
DeShaun Williams    DT   6-0 280 Central, SC (Daniel HS)

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