Norwood Giving Hoops a Try

Penn State's sophomore wide receiver is attempting to make the Nittany Lion basketball team. But PSU coach Ed DeChellis is cautioning against setting lofty expectations for the would be two-sport athlete.

While preparing for the Penn State football team's Outback Bowl matchup with Tennessee in Tampa, sophomore receiver Jordan Norwood said he'd love to get a chance to moonlight with the Nittany Lion basketball team. He'll get that opportunity starting today.

According to PSU hoop coach Ed DeChellis, Norwood — a standout point guard while at State College Area High — will go through a tryout process at the Jordan Center this afternoon.

“He says he'd like to try to do it,” DeChellis said. “But we're going to take it step by step and day by day and see how it goes.”

Though only 5-8 and 150 pounds at the time, Norwood helped lead State High to a PIAA big school championship as a junior in 2003. DeChellis offered Norwood a spot on the PSU roster as a preferred walk-on following his senior season, but he instead chose to accept a scholarship to play football for Joe Paterno.

Norwood had 32 catches as a true freshman in 2005 and 45 catches in 2006. Over that time, he also grew to nearly 5-11 and 175 pounds.

“He was a very good [basketball] player at State High and an athletic kid; a great competitor,” DeChellis said.

Norwood was also known as a strong defender, a trait sorely lacking in the Penn State backcourt this season. But DeChellis said it would be too much to ask for Norwood to make an immediate impact with the basketball program for several reasons.

First, the system will be entirely new to him. Further, the coach believes there is a difference between being in “football shape” and “basketball shape.” Finally, since the Penn State football team's regular season included 12 games in 12 weeks, there was no time for Norwood to even play pickup basketball in that span, so he figures to be a bit rusty.

“It is difficult and he understands that,” DeChellis said. “…He's coming in completely cold.”

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