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Football: Newport Harbor QB Cole Norris commits to Northern Arizona

Cole Norris, who can become Newport Harbor High's career passing yards leader this year as a senior, has committed to the Northern Arizona University football program, said Sailors Coach Jeff Brinkley on Wednesday.

Norris is coming off an impressive junior season in which he led the Sailors to the CIF Southern Section Southwest Division title game. He threw for 2,959 yards and 27 touchdowns last season, placing him No. 2 and No. 1, respectively, in those categories for a single season at Newport Harbor.

Norris is on pace to overtake Shane Foley as the Sailors' all-time passing yards leader, as he needs 943 yards. Foley finished with 5,364 yards, and he earned the CIF Southern Section Central Conference Player of the Year award in 1985.

Last year, Norris finished 98 passing yards shy of the school's single-season record of 3,057 set by Foley. Norris does hold Newport Harbor's single-game passing records of 474 yards and five touchdowns, numbers he posted in Newport Harbor's 49-48 upset of top-seeded La Habra in the quarterfinals last year. Norris completed 36 of 63 passes, tying Foley for the school's top spot for the most completions in a game.

Norris, who's 6-foot and 193 pounds, earned All-CIF Southern Section Southwest Division and second-team All-Orange County accolades last year. He also shared the Sunset League Offensive Back of the Year and Daily Pilot Newport-Mesa Dream Team Offensive of Player of the Year awards.

Northern Arizona is a NCAA Football Championship Subdivision program and plays in the Big Sky Conference. The Lumberjacks last won the Big Sky in 2003, when Norris was 5 years old.

— David Carrillo Peñaloza

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