By Otis Kirk
Fort Smith Northside Class of 2021 athlete Dreyden Norwood was the first recruit in the state in his class offered by Arkansas.
The Razorbacks offered him on Feb. 11 and then Mississippi State followed that up on April 10. His cousin, Tre Norwood, is a junior cornerback at Oklahoma. Norwood is pleased to see the offers start to come in.
“I was excited, but I’m ready to just keep working,” Norwood said.
Northside just started its spring drills. With Deuce Wise graduated and signed with the University of Central Arkansas, Norwood is possibly in line for an expanded role this season.
“I am playing quarterback and DB (cornerback and safety) right now,” Norwood said.
Norwood credited Wise with helping his adjustment be an easier one this spring.
“I learned a lot from him,” Norwood said. “I’m working on my accuracy, footwork and throwing the football.”
As far as the colleges what position are they recruiting you to play?
“An athlete,” Norwood said.
Norwood is 6-foot-1, 180-pounds and still getting bigger, faster and stronger. He stopped playing basketball this season.
“I wanted to focus on football,” Norwood said. “I am running track. I ran the 100- and 4×100.”
He will continue to work this summer including an upcoming event.
“I’m going to the Nike Combine (in Nashville) with some of my teammates on May 19,” Norwood said. “That’s all I know so far.”
Chad Morris and his staff obviously showed a lot of faith in Norwood by making him the first recruit in the state in his class to be offered.
“I like them a lot,” Norwood said. “I think they are gonna be pretty good this year.”
Norwood talked about what he feels are his strengths at this time.
“My speed and my instincts,” Norwood said.
Northside coach Mike Falleur is very impressed with Norwood and what he brings to his team and the school.
“First of all he’s a great student,” Falleur said. “Straight A’s and does a great job in the classroom. He understands the importance of that. He’s taking care of his business there.
“What’s exciting about Dreyden is you have watched him in the last four months grow a couple of inches and put on 20 pounds of muscle. He’s already a good athlete, but done nothing except just make himself better.”
Norwood is someone Falleur is counting on having a big impact in 2019.
“We’re excited about him,” Falleur said. “He’s competing with (senior) Matt Hollenbeck at quarterback and he will also help us in the secondary. He’s playing more safety right now, but he can do either one.”
Falleur talked about Norwood at quarterback compared to Wise who held the job in 2018.
“I think Dreyden is more of a natural quarterback,” Falleur said. “He’s played that pretty much his whole life. Whereas Deuce we asked him to move and do that for us as a football team. Dreyden is a little more comfortable there.
“He’s still going through a learning process as most people do. But he can run, throw and is just a very gifted young man.”
In other news at Northside, Class of 2020 defensive end Khaden Washington, 6-4, 245, has a lot of schools looking at him according to Falleur. Also, departed senior linebacker Anthony Travis, 6-2, 220, is headed to Arkansas where he will be a recruited walk-on this fall.