Friday, July 27, 2007

Norton saga comes to an end

Sean Norton, the man who would be Fresno State quarterback, apparently has decided to quit football.

Norton got the unfairest shake in recorded history last fall when battling Tom Brandstater for the starting job.

Irrefutable evidence: Brandstater got every benefit of the doubt -- even after struggling to score against Utah State, leading the Bulldogs to arguably their most humiliating defeat in program history. Meanwhile, Norton performed well against LSU, Boise State and Hawaii -- hands down the three best defensive teams on the schedule -- and got benched.

For some reason, it just seemed Norton got no respect from coaches at Fresno State. The coaches may have something to say about that, but until they say something publicly, all the public has to go by is how things appear. And it appears Norton got the big red shaft.

Just look at the way Fresno State presented his mug shot there. Sure, Norton is short. Probably 5-foot-9ish. But why not do the guy a favor and crop his photo? You did recruit him, didn't you?

Norton's not big, but he's a winner. He put up crazy numbers at perennial power Hart High (The alma mater of Kyle Boller and Matt Moore). He was a Parade All-American and led the state in passing en route to being named's Mr. Football. He won a section title in what has become the toughest division in the state and probably the nation.

Brandstater ran, what, the wishbone at Turlock? His top high school accolade was throwing for 1,000 yards his senior year. Norton had 4,067 passing yards and 44 touchdowns his senior season.

I don't know why you'd automatically hand the keys to an offense to someone who's barely passed for 1,000 yards when you've got someone else with bigtime pedigree, if not a bigtime body frame.

But even though we would have liked to have seen Norton get a better opportunity, it's become moot. He's done with football. Burnt out, he said.

No one's saying it, but Fresno State did most of the burning.

1 comment:

  1. Gotta admit Hill always seems to be fair with his players and their PT, but if ever there was a case where it didn't appear fair, it was this one.

    Norton hands down outperformed Brandstater when he came in against Hawaii and should have been given the reins for the full Boise State game to see what he could do. But now, Brandstater's the guy and you've gotta hope the coaches are right in what they see in him because he'll make or break this year's team.

    A shame to see Norton's talent go wasted now though...


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