Continuing this feature from last season, in which we review the five biggest disappointments and surprises of the season.
A lot of fans pumped up Sergio Kindle and Rodderick Muckelroy before the season, but fewer were clamoring for Jared Norton to see big minutes in the middle. By the second game of the season, however, Norton was making a name for himself. He showed solid speed, excellent tenacity, and delivered punishing hits. The upgrade over Rashaad Bobino was clear to most, though he would not get his first start of the year until the Holiday Bowl.
Norton finished 2007 with 53 tackles in just 12 games. He matched Bobino in tackles for loss (4) and picked up 2 quarterback sacks to Bobino's 0. Norton also forced a fumble and intercepted a pass. There's little question he should be the starting MLB as we head into 2008. Will Muschamp has a fine, fine middle linebacker on his hands. I'm excited to see what's in store for next season.