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With 21 days left until Virginia Tech takes the field against Appalachian State, we turn our attention to number 21 on roster, Mr. Theron Norman. Norman is listed as out until the beginning of October at the earliest due to offseason shoulder surgery. Sadly, Norman was on pace to be the backup safety this season and hopefully he can recover soon enough to help the team in some aspect this season. He has all the physical tools needed to play free safety. However, the guy just needs some reps. He'll likely see some type of action when he returns but it's unclear how he'll factor into the depth chart once October rolls around.
Weight: 209 lbs
Position: Free Safety
High School: Hermitage High School
How Did He Get Here
The Hokies raided Hermitage High School in 2008 and 2009. Norman was one of three players from Hermitage to sign a LOI to the Hokies in those two classes (other two were JuJu Clayton and Duan Perez-Means). However, Norman failed to raise his SAT score enough as a senior before enrolling at Virginia Tech and wound up prepping at Hargrave for a semester before enrolling in January of 2010.
With Norman’s shoulder injury; it’s tough to tell how much of a factor he’ll be this season. The good news is that he’s just a freshman so his best football is still ahead of him. The bad news is that the Hokies could have really used him as a backup safety here in 2011. Norman will return sometime in October but odds are, the coaches won’t use him much. With no experience last season, Norman may contribute on special teams when he returns. However, by that time, James Hopper should be solidly entrenched as the primary backup at safety.
If Norman can return and give us some reps this fall, hopefully that puts him into position to challenge for the starting job this spring. It’s clear that Ronny Vandyke is probably our safety of the future but I wouldn’t sell Norman short, at least not yet. He has the ability to be a physically imposing safety. If he can become a leader amongst the secondary over the off-season, he might have the inside track to be our starting free safety next fall.
Posting a 340-pound front squat this off-season. I wish I could do that.
Suffering a major shoulder injury that’s going to cause him to likely miss the first six weeks of the 2011 season.
Completely made up fact
Unlike some of the other players, Norman’s surgery was done by a Dr. Acula. 10 points for whoever gets that reference.
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