Utah is one of the PAC 12’s newest members, and while they haven’t made great strides in the conference, the Utes have been competitive from day one. Last season Utah started off 4-2, with two losses by a total of 10 points, but an injury to quarterback Travis Wilson put the brakes on their offense, and the team finished with a 1-5 streak. The defense worked hard over that period, trying to keep games from getting out of hand, but they couldn’t win games on their own.
Forrest West of Campus Sports recently interviewed Jared Norris, a projected starting linebacker for the Utes. Last season, Norris played 10 games, starting at both middle and weakside linebacker, making 64 tackles, 4½ for loss, including 2 sacks. Norris also broke up 2 passes and forced 2 fumbles. With injuries a problem at the position, Norris has been held out of the majority of contact drills in camp, giving him a chance to focus more on the mental aspect of the game, and making him a better player.
Jared talks more about it in his interview.
Campus Sports – Heading into the season, can you tell us what kind of player Jared Norris is going to be?
Jared – I want to be a playmaker for the team and contribute as much as I can. I want/am going to be a better leader in the fall.
Campus Sports – Which former college player or professional do you model your game after and look up to?
Jared – I mainly look up to the former linebackers that I’ve played here with, that have helped show me the ropes and get my mind right as far as what it takes to be a dominant linebacker at this level.
Campus Sports – So far in the offseason, where do you feel like you’ve made the biggest strides personally?
Jared – I got a little bit quicker and studied the defense. Really got to know it in and out. I really got better at [knowing] where to line up and playing off the secondary while making all the calls for the defensive line.
Campus Sports – If you could say anything to all the Utah fans out there heading into the season what would you say?
Jared – Don’t count us out. We’re more talented than we’ve ever been at this point. We’re going to come out guns blazing!
Campus Sports – And lastly, I heard you were quite the skateboarder. Can you tell us a little about that, and what’s your favorite trick?
Jared – I love doing the 360 flip on my board. I haven’t done it in a long time. [I] started skateboarding when I was five years old, but football has taken over my schedule recently (laughs).