University of Miami

Miami Hurricanes defensive tackle Kendrick Norton is entering the NFL Draft

Miami Hurricanes defensive tackle Kendrick Norton after Duke Blue Devils quarterback Daniel Jones is sacked at Hard Rock Stadium on Saturday, November 26, 2016.
Miami Hurricanes defensive tackle Kendrick Norton after Duke Blue Devils quarterback Daniel Jones is sacked at Hard Rock Stadium on Saturday, November 26, 2016. adiaz@miamiherald.com

University of Miami starting defensive tackle Kendrick Norton, a junior, announced on social media Monday that he will forgo his senior season to enter the NFL Draft.

“After a lot of thought, prayer, talking to my family and coaches, I’ve decided to make myself available for the 2018 draft,’’ Norton posted on Instagram. “This decision wasn’t an easy one, as I love being a hurricane, but I feel I’m ready for the next step in realizing my dreams of being an nfl football player...’’

Norton and fellow starting defensive tackle RJ McIntosh had planned to announce the same decision, no matter what it ended up being, but McIntosh did not immediately post the same decision. His father, Richard McIntosh, told the Miami Herald on Monday afternoon before Norton’s announcement that RJ still was in the midst of deciding.

Norton, 6-3 and 312 pounds, is out of Jacksonville Trinity Christian. He played in all 13 games this past season and had 26 tackles, with 6 1/2 tackles for loss, two sacks and a breakup and quarterback hurry. He is projected to go later in the draft, perhaps as high as the fifth round.

McIntosh, named by the team as its 2017 defensive most valuable player, is projected to go as high as the third round should he declare.

Kendrick Norton (6-3, 310) discusses why he chose UM, his goals and more on Aug. 7, 2015. Video by Manny Navarro / Miami Herald Staff

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