2003: Katnik, who has played every position on the offensive line, started at center for his second season as a senior in 2003 (his third year as a starter on the line) and had an impressive year. He was 1 of 6 finalists for the 2003 Rimington Award and was named to the 2003 Collegefootballnews.com All-American third team, as well as the All-Pac-10 first team. He also made the Collegefootballnews.com All-Pac-10 first team. He participated in the Hula Bowl.
2002: Katnik started at center for the first 11 games of his 2002 junior season and peformed solidly. He played (but did not start) against Notre Dame and Iowa in the Orange Bowl after suffering a left ankle sprain at UCLA. He played both center and left guard against Iowa. In the spring of 2002, he had surgery to repair torn ligaments in his thumb.
2001: Katnik started at all 3 line offensive line positions as a sophomore in 2001. He started 10 games in 2001: at center versus Oregon, Washington, Arizona State and Notre Dame, at guard against San Jose State (left), Stanford (left), Arizona (right), Oregon State (left) and UCLA (left) and at left tackle (California). He came off the bench at left guard against Kansas State and Utah. He was moved from center to tackle in 2001 spring drills, then went back to center to open 2001 fall camp before also working at guard and tackle.
2000: Katnik was a reserve center as a redshirt freshman in 2000 (he was also available at guard, tackle and tight end). He also was a backup long snapper on punts behind Zeke Moreno. He appeared briefly in 2 games (as a snapper against San Jose State and at tight end versus Arizona). He made 1 tackle (versus San Jose State) in 2000.
1999: Katnik redshirted as a freshman in 1999, his first year at USC. He began the season as an offensive tackle, was moved to tight end in fall camp, then to center by mid-season.
HIGH SCHOOL: He was picked to the 1998 Super Prep All-Farwest and All-Century League first team as a senior at Foothill High in Santa Ana (Calif.). He played on both the offensive and defensive lines.
He also played baseball at Foothill. Current Trojans Kurt Katnik, Billy Hart and Mike Brittingham prepped at Foothill, while current Trojan Billy Hart also spent part of his prep career at Foothill.
PERSONAL: He's a social science/economics major at USC. His brother, Kurt, is a redshirt freshman center at USC. His father, Norman, was a 2-year starting center at Arizona (1978-79), while his uncle, John Katnik, started at center for USC in 1986 and 1987. He was born in Tucson, Ariz. He likes to play golf. His sports hero is ex-USC All-American and current NFL star offensive tackle Tony Boselli.
NORM KATNIK ON: Playing all positions on the offensive line: "It's not as difficult to play so many positions as one might think. I try to mentally focus on the position and think back to a practice situation in order to do what the coaches need me to do. Switching positions used to throw me off, but now it seems like I have been doing this for so long, it doesn't faze me any more."
Playing center: "I didn't like it at first. It had to do with how light I was. I got pushed around by bigger guys. The center is set off from the rest. When the defensive line runs stunts, it's easy to get picked off. Your technique has to be sounder. I hadn't played it that much and it was difficult."
Overcoming his lack of size: "I've always had a lot of faith and was cocky about my ability. I felt I was good, but my weight held me back…I've always been the little guy. I've never been the super big guy. People are always taller and heavier. But it all comes down to how well you know the game and how much more you know than the other guy across from you. Someone else may be a little bigger or stronger, but if I've got the edge on technique and understand my role in the play, I've got the advantage. That's what got me here and gets me on the field. It's about the right footwork and being in the right places. That usually will prevent defenders from getting to the ball…Nothing can beat a good technician."
His difficulty in gaining weight: "I'm not a huge meal eater. It always seemed my metabolism was moving faster than my mouth was and I could never catch up. But I finally have."
His reliability: "I like being reliable and knowing that the coaches can send me into the game to take care of things. I also enjoy knowing that they can count on me to not just do something, but do something right."
Pressure: "I definitely like moving at a faster pace. It is more challenging and makes me a better player. I love the adrenaline that comes along with having some pressure placed upon me to do well…Football is so much more complicated than life. Knowing how much I can handle on the field makes handling situations off the field much easier to deal with."