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Thursday, February 21, 2013
Meet the run-ons: OG Justin Norman

By Josh Moyer

Every weekday, as part of an ongoing series, NittanyNation will take a closer look at a Penn State walk-on.

Vitals: Offensive guard Justin Norman, Jersey Shore (Pa.), 6-foot-4, 285 pounds.

Picked Penn State over: Heavy interest from Division II schools. (He basically stopped talking with other schools around early December because he knew he wanted to play for PSU, so he's not sure if he would have garnered any financial help.)

Why he picked PSU: He liked the coaching he received over the summer during an advanced skills camp. And he said his mind was made up once he stepped out of the tunnel for the PSU-Temple game. He said he knew no other school, outside of Michigan, could match up with that.

State of the position: There's a lot of quality depth here right now. John Urschel and Miles Dieffenbach return as the starters, and Angelo Mangiro is sure to receive a lot of snaps in just about every game. (He'll compete with Ty Howle and Dieffenbach for the starting center job as well.) Incoming freshmen Brendan Mahon and Tanner Hartman will also join the team over the summer, so the interior doesn't need many more bodies in the short term.

Strengths: He's already at a pretty good size -- he's even bigger than Hartman right now. He takes a lot of pride in his run-blocking, and he feels like his solid fundamentals really help push him over the hump.

Weaknesses: He said he can bench-press 225 pounds about 15 times, so his strength needs to improve. He knows he also needs to work on his footwork, both on his quickness and taking that first step. He also needs to stay lower when he's blocking.

Potential impact: He'll definitely have to make some long strides to see time on the field because there's a lot of quality depth here. He'll likely be relegated to the scout team for the first few seasons, but he has the frame to possibly push for situational time later in his career.

Quotables: "It's just the history of Penn State and the hometown part of it and playing against Big Ten competition. It's the best conference. Some might say the SEC is the best in the country, but the Big Ten's definitely the best power conference."

Getting to know Norman: Favorite movie is "Full Metal Jacket" ("My dad was a Marine.") ... Favorite TV show is "Friday Night Lights" ... Favorite food is brisket from Curt's Smokings Ribs in Mill Hall ... Favorite band is Sublime ... Dream vacation spot is the Caribbean.