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SEC schools tried to sway Tory Horton away from CSU, Norvell praises the receiver's loyalty

Justin Michael Avatar
July 23, 2023

LAS VEGAS — Tory Horton is a potential All-American candidate this season. 

After his stellar 2022 campaign in which he was essentially the only consistent target opposing defenses had to scheme for, and even still he managed to finish with 71 receptions for 1,131 yards and eight touchdowns, the senior wide receiver has already proven he can produce as well as any player in the country. 

If he wanted to, Horton could start for any number of power five schools. And according to Jay Norvell, some have even tried to make that a reality. 

“Our best players have been approached by a number of schools,” Norvell told reporters at the Circa Resort & Casino. 

“And we’re just fortunate that we’ve got great character. Tory Horton has been approached by schools in the SEC that have taken players from other schools. And I just think his character has kept him at CSU.”

Norvell followed up on this later, reflecting to DNVR on what Horton’s commitment has meant to him over the years. 

“He’s meant so much to me because he’s been really loyal to me. He really could have gone anywhere in the country. And he still has people coming after him. He’s shown me screenshots of people offering him 50 grand to come play for them. And it’s because of his character (that he stays). I mean, he shows them to me. A lot of kids wouldn’t do that.”

Nov 25, 2022; Fort Collins, Colorado, USA; Colorado State Rams wide receiver Tory Horton (14) hauls in a touchdown in the fourth quarter at Sonny Lubick Field at Canvas Stadium. Photo Credit: Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports

While most people in Horton’s situation would jump at the first bag offered their way, Horton choosing to stay in Fort Collins is obviously massively important for CSU. Norvell hopes to see him rewarded for it with an even bigger year now that he’ll have a much better supporting cast around him. 

Horton is already one of, if not the top NFL prospect in the Mountain West. With another big season, it would not be surprising at all to see him be a top 75 pick if he chooses to declare for the 2024 NFL Draft. 

While most fans would certainly understand if he were to go pro after this season — at the risk of getting everyone’s hopes up, only to be disappointed down the line — it does sound like the possibility of Horton playing a third year at CSU is at least still on the table. 

As Norvell explained, Horton’s parents do an incredible job of keeping him grounded. And while they know their son has a bright future on the football field ahead, they are not trying to rush anything. 

“Tory’s still got two years left and his folks want him to stay in school,” Norvell said. “They’re not in a hurry for him to go to the NFL. And that’s rare for parents to be that way.”

Again, we’ll just have to see how the 2023 season plays out. It would be hard to fault anybody for pursuing their NFL dreams, especially someone with as much potential as Horton. But considering he’s only 20 years old and still has a chance to develop significantly from a physical standpoint over the next couple of years, there is an argument that by staying at CSU Horton would have a chance to play his way into the first round in 2025. 

Obviously there are a lot of factors to consider. How CSU fares this fall very well may be one of them. It’s a lot easier to sell someone on returning to college if they believe the team will be good. Considering he could have jumped ship after a disappointing 2022 season, though, I’m just really looking forward to at least one more season of watching this dynamic weapon in action. 

Horton is the best wide receiver in the conference by a fairly wide margin. He’s the best punt returner as well. Don’t miss out on enjoying his talent in the present while focusing too much on what may or may not happen down the line. 

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