|Detroit (MI) King running back/returner committed to Michigan
on Tuesday evening
Detroit (MI) King running back Dennis Norfleet was offered a scholarship on Tuesday night and committed almost on the spot. He had previously been committed to Cincinnati, and he also held offers from Michigan State, Pitt, and Tennessee.
ESPN: 3-star, #81 RB
Rivals: 4-star, #5 all-purpose back, #206 overall
Scout: 4-star, #19 RB
247 Sports: 4-star, #7 all-purpose back, #169 overall, 95 grade
Norfleet is 5’8″, 175 lbs. and lists a 4.34 time in the forty. As a junior he had 1,880 yards and 31 touchdowns. He followed that up with 2,033 yards and 27 touchdowns as a senior.
Norfleet is solidly built despite being quite short. He stated on Tuesday night that Michigan offered him a chance to play running back, slot receiver, kick returner, and punt returner. Michigan hasn’t had a consistent punt returner since Steve Breaston, and there hasn’t been a solid kickoff return guy since Darryl Stonum in 2009. Norfleet has the short-area quickness and the breakaway speed to be effective at both of those positions. He also could be used as a zone read option guy in the backfield with Denard Robinson or Devin Gardner, or as a pass receiver in the mold of Vincent Smith.
Aside from the obvious concern about his size – his chances of being the full-time back are very slim – I’m not a big fan of the way Norfleet finishes plays. He jogs into the endzone too often, which rubs me the wrong way and makes me question how disciplined he is. Still, it’s better to take an athletic guy whom you might have to instill with some discipline than to bank the scholarship for next year.
Norfleet is Michigan’s 25th commitment in the class of 2012. He’s also the first guy from Martin Luther King High School since defensive tackle Larry Harrison and safety Ernest Shazor left after the 2004 season.
TTB Rating: 76
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