TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – The saying “going above and beyond” has an appealing ring to it. However, if you make it your mission to pound that phrase into your style of play on the football field, would you be able to do it? Could you adopt it as your reality?
Marcus Norman, who enters his final season on the Bulls’ offensive line as an offensive tackle, can confidently and enthusiastically answer “YES!!” to both questions.
Norman can also confidently and enthusiastically sing the entire USF Fight Song. He told me the song is his favorite part of the start of the season.
I digress. I digress. Yet, I am still encouraging you to listen to him sing it, to admire his musical abilities, to connect Norman to “going above and beyond” even in regards to a song. He has a way with it.
Similarly, he has a way on the field.
“I feel like a lot of people are starting to listen to me now,” said Norman when he was asked about his leadership abilities. “I feel like I am becoming a pretty good leader. I still have a couple more steps to become a great leader but I do think the offensive line will follow me because I am setting a good example for them.”
What type of example? The Bulls offensive line coach, Jeremy Darveau, shared one example from practice on Monday.
“We had a false start and I had forgotten about it,” Darveau admitted, “and one of our offensive linemen, Marcus Norman, he says, ‘Hey guys, we have to run. We had a false start.’”
Norman is challenging his teammates by holding them accountable and, in the process, he said he is seeing the results.
“When it came to conditioning,” he said, “I wanted to be first to set good examples for everyone and I think that that helped them and me to stay in shape and get in better shape.”
Darveau said he is impressed with the players on the offensive line.
“We worked, we grinded,” said Darveau. “We knew what we wanted. Our vision was clear. We wanted to go out there and win a whole bunch of ball games so we worked for that and they have really owned that. The players have owned that and, when they start owning it, it becomes a reality.”
It is a reality that is as real as Marcus Norman singing the entire fight song for me when I only asked him for a “snippet” of it.
The Bulls have set their sights on “going above and beyond” this year and it appears they are already doing it.