Big Man on Campus: Norris Stands Out on Offensive Line for Longhorns

After four years as a starter, W.T. White senior will play next year at Texas State

Tyler Norris remembers his first varsity football game as a 14-year-old freshman at W.T. White. At 270 pounds, he looked the part, but mentally, he was anxious and uncertain if he could handle the pressure.

Four years later, Norris has just completed his senior season as one of the team’s most experienced and confident players — having recently earned a full scholarship to play Division I football at Texas State, no less.

“I was playing against grown men. It was nerve-wracking. I was just thrown in there, but it molded me as a player,” Norris recalled about the 2020 season. “I felt I wasn’t strong enough, but that added fuel to the fire to better myself.”

His work ethic is the primary reason Norris has emerged as one of the top offensive linemen in the Dallas area. WTW head coach Kenchee Ross said he’s improved not only his body — adding muscle to his 6-foot-5, 290-pound frame — but also has developed elite quickness and agility for his size.

“He’s very knowledgeable and always wanting to know more. He’s a dominant blocker who is very athletic in space and a great leader on that offensive line,” Ross said. “His athletic ability allowed us to run a lot of screens and get him out in space. He can block with power and great footwork.”

Since they rarely touch the ball, linemen often go unheralded, even on a prolific offensive unit. Norris accepts that and takes pride in racing to the end zone after a touchdown and lifting up his teammates — literally.

“As I continued to play and learn the game, I got excitement from my quarterback being able to throw a pass or my running back having a hole to run 15 yards,” Norris said. “It’s something that you get used to.”

Norris has been a part of four consecutive playoff teams at WTW — for the first time in school history — and hopes his senior class has paved the way for future growth in the program.

Transitioning to a leadership role hasn’t always been easy for the soft-spoken Norris, even as he became the player on the roster with the most potential to play at the next level.

“I sort of grew into it. I began to improve in that aspect. I used to be the young buck with leaders around me,” he said. “I just tried to encourage them. I told them the long hours and the hard work would pay off in the long run.”

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