Butch Davis has been known for his recruiting chops going back to his days at the University of Miami.
The prized recruit of his 2019 class is quarterback Stone Norton out of Nashville’s Davidson Academy. He is the highest rated quarterback in the high school composite ranking era (2006-current) ever to sign with the Panthers.
A three-year starter at the varsity level, Norton has thrown for over 6,000 yards and 70 touchdowns in his decorated prep career.
He gave his verbal commitment on June 20th, choosing FIU over offers from Temple and Akron.
I asked Norton a few questions about himself as a player and why he chose the Panthers.
1. Can you talk a little bit about your recruiting process and what sold you on FIU?
Norton: There were a ton of things I loved about FIU, but the main reason was definitely the coaches. Coach Davis is one of the best coaches in college football and they also have Bryn Renner and Ken Dorsey, who both played quarterback in the NFL. Also, when I have visited I have had great talks with coach Skrosky and love the way he runs the offense.
2. You’re ranked as one of the top 50 pro-style QB’s in the nation and on film you operate a lot inside of the pocket. How would you describe yourself as a quarterback?
Norton: I would describe myself as more of a pocket passer that can make all the throws, but also escape the pocket and make plays with my feet when needed.
3. Your head coach is Jonathan Quinn who spent seven seasons in the NFL as a quarterback. What has it been like having that type of experience around you daily and what wisdom has he shared with you about making the transition to college?
Norton: It has definitely been a blessing being able to work with Coach Quinn every day. I feel like the area he has best helped me in would probably be just my knowledge of the game and being able to read defenses and know what to do on offense to beat that defense.
4. You’ve mentioned that there are some similarities to the scheme you’re in now at Davidson and the one you’ll have at FIU. Could you elaborate on some of those?
Norton: I think both offenses are similar in that each puts a lot on the quarterback. I think my offense at Davidson has prepared me a lot for college just because of the freedom the quarterback has in changing routes, flipping plays, and making sure the protection is right.
5. One of the biggest games for you this season was the opener in a matchup that featured multiple players who have Division 1 commitments. What is it like personally to get out there and play well on that stage?
Norton: It was pretty cool getting to play in that game, especially since it featured five D1 commits and other future D1 players. It felt good to win that game especially since it was our season opener. I really did not know what to expect before the game for us as a team, but after the win I was pleased with how we played and it kind of set the tone for our season up until this point.
6. What are some of your goals for the rest of the season and what parts of your game are you working on in preparation for next year?
Norton: The main goal for me right now is to win a state championship this year. That is the main thing on my mind right now, so I am trying to do my part, get better every day, and help give us the opportunity to complete that goal. As far as preparing for next year, I am really just trying to get bigger, faster, and stronger right now.
Davidson Academy QB Stone Norton— Chris Smith (@CSmithScout) September 15, 2018
Mid-Season Stats (Thru 5 Games) - 70-99 passing for 1,282 yds w/ 16 Td's & 2 Int's.....Avg. 256.4 yds per game
QB Rating: 144.3#FIU Commit....#CUSA #MidTN19 #CSS pic.twitter.com/S56dm4U1dJ
7. What would you want Panther fans know about Stone Norton as a player?
Norton: What I would want Panther fans to know about me is that I will come to work every day and give my all to try to make myself and all of the players around me better.