Coastal’s Norman taken in the fifth round by Panthers

The jump from Coastal Carolina to the NFL may be a big one, but at least Chanticleers cornerback Josh Norman won’t have to travel very far to do so.

Coastal Carolina’s Josh Norman became the third Chanticleer, and just the fifth player in Big South history, to be selected in the NFL Draft when the Carolina Panthers picked him in the fifth round (143rd overall pick and eighth pick of the fifth round) Saturday.

Norman was a two-time All-American (2009 and 2011), earning consensus first team honors in 2011. The Greenwood, S.C., native was additionally a finalist for the 2011 Buck Buchanan Award, which annually goes to the top player in FCS football, and became the first player in school and Big South history to play in both the Senior Bowl and East-West Shrine game.

Norman is a three-time, first team All-Big South selection and was a 2009 third team All-American after shattering a Big South single-season record and ranking second in the NCAA with eight interceptions.

This past season, Norman led the Chanticleers in tackles and led the Big South in both passes defended (1.27) and pass breakups (12). Nationally, his 12 PBU ranked sixth-best, while his 1.27 passes defended ranked 10th-best. The 12 PBU was additionally a CCU single-season record and Norman’s 49 solo tackles this past season ranks fifth on the CCU seasonal chart. He was a two-time Big South Defensive Player of the Year, helping Coastal Carolina defeat VMI and Presbyterian in the process.

Norman ranks fifth (tied) on the NCAA career passes defended list with 48 and sixth (tied) on its career PBU list with 35. He is tied with former Chanticleer All-American Quinton Teal for the Big South and CCU all-time records for passes defended, while his 35 career PBU is both a CCU and Big South record. Norman’s 13 career interceptions ranks second on the CCU and Big South all-time lists, while his 196 career tackles ranks ninth in school history. Norman blocked a CCU-record four kicks, forced four fumbles to rank third on the CCU career list and his 138 solo tackles is fourth-best in school history.

Norman joins Tyler Thigpen and Jerome Simpson as being Chanticleer draft picks. In 2007, Thigpen became the first player in Big South history to be drafted when the Minnesota Vikings took the quarterback in the seventh round (217th overall pick). The following year, Simpson was the taken in the second round (46th overall pick) by the Cincinnati Bengals to still rank as the earliest a Big South player has ever been drafted. Other Big South players to be drafted include Gardner-Webb’s Brian Johnson (2008 seventh round by Kansas City) and Liberty’s Rashad Jennings (2009 seventh round by Jacksonville Jaguars).

Other Chanticleers to make NFL rosters include Teal, Mike Tolbert, who recently signed with the Carolina Panthers, and Maurice Simpkins.

Photo courtesy of CCU Athletics

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