published Tuesday, October 29th, 2013

Alabama veteran Kevin Norwood finally gets 100-yard game

Alabama wide receiver Kevin Norwood (83) hauls in a 22-yard touchdown pass as Tennessee defensive back Cameron Sutton (23) defends during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Tuscaloosa, Ala., Saturday, Oct. 26, 2013.
Alabama wide receiver Kevin Norwood (83) hauls in a 22-yard touchdown pass as Tennessee defensive back Cameron Sutton (23) defends during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Tuscaloosa, Ala., Saturday, Oct. 26, 2013.
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Senior receiver Kevin Norwood is no stranger to making plays for Alabama.

His first career reception as a redshirt freshman in 2010 was a 36-yard touchdown against 18th-ranked Penn State. He set career highs with four receptions for 78 yards in Alabama's 21-0 skunking of LSU in the BCS championship game after the 2011 season and had three catches for 66 yards in last January's BCS title game against Notre Dame.

Yet a 100-yard game had eluded the 6-foot-2, 195-pounder from D'Iberville, Miss., until this past Saturday, when he caught six passes for 112 yards and a touchdown in the 45-10 trampling of Tennessee.

"I'm excited with how far I've come, but I'm still hungry," Norwood said after the game. "I feel like there is a lot of stuff I haven't accomplished yet as a receiver, and I still think I'm being overlooked."

Norwood's 112-yard performance catapulted him to the top of Alabama's receiving charts entering next week's visit from LSU. His 348 yards on 23 catches are followed closely by DeAndrew White's 329 yards on 22 receptions, Amari Cooper's 304 on 20 and Christion Jones' 281 on 27.

Last season, Norwood had 29 catches for 461 yards and was second on the team behind Cooper, who had 59 receptions for 1,000 yards as a freshman.

"Kevin has been so consistent throughout his career here in making big plays," Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban said. "He's a great athlete, and he has great hands."

When asked why he felt overlooked, Norwood said he didn't know. When quarterback AJ McCarron was asked, he said he didn't care.

"The media might not give him much hype, but he's not overlooked on our team," McCarron said. "We know what type of player he is for us and what he's capable of, and I'm sure the guys at the next level scouting us see what kind of player he is, and that's really all that matters."

Norwood does not fare well in the receiver rankings for the 2014 NFL draft on CBSsports.com, ranking 42nd at his position. The top three projected receivers are Clemson's Sammy Watkins, Texas A&M's Mike Evans and Southern California's Marqise Lee.

Watkins, Evans and Lee are top 25 prospects overall, but Norwood is 373rd. The draft earlier this year had just 254 selections, with former South Carolina tight end Justice Cunningham being the last pick.

"I know that when it comes down to it, I'm going to work hard for what I want and continue to do what I do," Norwood said.

Against Tennessee, Norwood got open for a 22-yard touchdown reception in the final minute of the first quarter, which put the Crimson Tide up 21-0. His most acrobatic catch occurred late in the third quarter, when he sprawled out for a 34-yard reception to the Tennessee 6.

Producing more games like the last one could help Norwood in terms of his NFL prospects, but he is enjoying a senior season that has included wins the past three weeks over Kentucky, Arkansas and Tennessee by a combined 145-17. The combined halftime score of those games was 87-0.

"We gain all the momentum and then put the dagger in their heart," Norwood said. "It's something we take pride in."

Tide tidbits

CBS officially announced Monday that the Alabama-LSU game Nov. 9 would be its one prime-time telecast. ... Senior linebacker C.J. Mosley was tabbed Monday as a Butkus Award semifinalist for a second straight year, while sophomore safety Landon Collins was named SEC defensive player of the week and as one of 15 semifinalists for the Thorpe Award.

Contact David Paschall at dpaschall@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6524.

about David Paschall...

David Paschall is a sports writer for the Times Free Press. He started at the Chattanooga Free Press in 1990 and was part of the Times Free Press when the paper started in 1999. David covers University of Georgia football, as well as SEC football recruiting, SEC basketball, Chattanooga Lookouts baseball and other sports stories. He is a Chattanooga native and graduate of the Baylor School and Auburn University. David has received numerous honors for ...

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