SAN JOSE, Calif. -- One of the top cornerbacks in the NFL -- some might even say he's the very best -- had humble beginnings.
Josh Norman made his college team, Coastal Carolina, as a walk-on. He entered the league as a fifth-round draft pick of the Carolina Panthers in 2012. And it would take a few years before he would establish himself as the elite talent he has become.
Now, Norman is here, preparing to face the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl 50 Sunday.
On Thursday morning, when he opened the curtains of his hotel room, he took in the beauty of the Bay Area scenery ("the hills, valleys, and plains"). In sharing that moment a little later with reporters, Norman reflected on just how much more gratifying the chance to compete for football's ultimate prize is for him because of what it has taken to get to this point.
"Absolutely I appreciate it more, because there’s nothing more that’s greater than being self-made," said Norman, who in the regular season had four interceptions, returning two for touchdowns, and forced three fumbles. According to the analytics website Pro Football Focus, opposing quarterbacks had an NFL-low passer rating of 54 when they threw in his direction.
"Can’t nobody take anything from you," Norman said. "Can’t nobody say they did this, did that. I mean, we had people along the way that helped, but nobody can say I got my hands on him and I made him who he is today. No. And that’s the greatest thing and greatest feeling you can take from being self-made.”