CHARLOTTE – In the midst of all the honors and recognition that has come his way recently, cornerback Josh Norman has thoroughly enjoyed talking with the media about his lofty goals and aspirations.
But he hasn't forgotten where he came from.
That was clear Wednesday when Jack Flagler of the Gaston Gazette asked Norman about overcoming a year away from football before emerging as a standout defensive back at Coastal Carolina.
"Man, that's pretty tough to talk about," Norman said, battling tears. "That was the struggle for me. That was the defining moment of what I was going to become."
Norman has been arguably the best defensive player in the league through the first four weeks of the 2015 season, recording a league-high four interceptions. He was the NFC Defensive Player of the Month for September and was named NFC Defensive Player of the Week for his Week 4 performance.
Norman had to prove a lot of people wrong to make it in college and it took several years for Norman to find his footing the NFL. But he's found it, and now he's soaring. You could understand why discussing his journey brings up some emotions.
"After going what we went through and being in the position we are now," Norman said, "that sums it up."
"I'm blessed to be in the position I am now," he added. "When you put hard work to your talent level and you try to meet and match that as much as you possibly can, awesome and great things happen to you."
View photos from the Panthers' practice during the Bye Week.