What a difference one year can make. Grant Norris to Duke!

Grant Norris gave Duke University some great news recently. The slick fielding 2019 grad shortstop accepted a scholarship to play for Head Coach, Chris Pollard, and the Blue Devils. Norris became the fourth member of the US Elite 2019 class to make a verbal commitment. He joins talented classmates, Troy LaNeve (Vanderbilt), Bobby Whalen (Louisville) and Thomas Schultz (Vanderbilt) as players who have committed to a D1 school.

Norris, who plays for Somerset High School (PA), was a relative unknown talent in January of 2016. But, that all changed quickly when he joined the US Elite program. US Elite Director, Mark Helsel, explains. “Grant is a perfect example of how playing for US Elite can really change the direction of a player’s career. Grant came to our tryout and we immediately saw his natural ability. He has special gifts. His feet are light and quick. His hands are soft, and his arm is special. I spoke to some college coaches about him and none of them even knew his name. We knew that if we put him in front of college coaches they would have a lot of interest”. And, they certainly did.

“I was amazed at the attention that not only I got, but so many of my US Elite teammates, said Norris. When the US Elite coaches told me they thought I would get looks from D1 programs I was excited. That’s all you can ask for. I just wanted a chance. I had no idea it could all happen so fast. Playing for US Elite helped me get alot of exposure and for that, I am very grateful”.

Norris was a big part of the success Coach Jason Ferber’s 2019 team had last year. That team won the USA Baseball National Championship in Jupiter, FL and is ranked nationally by Perfect Game.  Ferber was quick to point out that you can’t win at that level without a dynamic shortstop. “Grant is a versatile player because he is such a good athlete. He can play any position on the infield and he is an outstanding pitcher. But, he has true shortstop actions and many believe he can stay there in college. That’s hard to find”.

Norris said although his recruiting process was relatively short, he really enjoyed the opportunities to see alot of schools. “US Elite helped set up some really great visits for me and my family. We were introduced to some great college coaches and the experience was great. At the end of the day, Duke was the best fit for me. Obviously, it’s a world class education, which is very important to me. The campus is beautiful and my parents and I really like the Raleigh-Durham area. The thought of playing baseball in the ACC is a dream come true. I’m excited about the next couple of years of playing with US Elite, and then moving on to the next chapter of my career. The Duke coaching staff and players made me feel very welcome”.

Helsel also noted that Norris is an outstanding student. “Grant competes on the field, and off the field. He has a 3.9 GPA. You don’t get into Duke if you are not a great player and a great student. Grant is the total package”.