Thursday, April 19, 2012

Why Dennis Norfleet will exceed your expectations

The Dennis Norfleet in its natural habitat, leaving defenders in the dust...

Many Michigan fans in the recruiting world were pleasantly surprised when all-purpose running back Dennis Norfleet (Detroit Martin Luther King) switched his commitment from Cincinnati to Michigan the night before National Signing Day. However, many people may be underestimating the immediate impact that he can have on the offense, in addition to the key role he will likely have on special teams. Here is why I think Dennis could surprise some people when he suits up for the Maize and Blue this fall:

Speed, Speed, and more SPEED
This kid has some unbelievable wheels, and you simply cannot teach that. Norfleet's detractors might argue that high school defenses are terrible, in addition to the fact that he played in the PSL, which produces some D-1 talent every year, but certainly isn't the cream of the top in terms of talent in the state. That being said, when watching Norfleet on tape it's nearly impossible not to notice how easily he makes defenders miss and how quickly he can change direction on the spot. His acceleration is also something that is unmatched by anyone else in the class (and possibly on the current Michigan roster for that matter).

Senior Highlights (2011)
I think over the last few seasons, Michigan has lacked anyone that can consistently threaten to take the ball to the house on any kind of return. I remember the days of Steve Breaston. Everyone watched the game, holding their breath to see if he would break the game open, as he so often did. With the speed and elusiveness that Norfleet possesses, I think Michigan fans (and most likely their opponents) will be holding their breath many times over the next 4 years.

Also he is capable of flight.
 Dennarren Sprorfleetles
This comparison has been made countless times, but it is simply too hard not to make: Dennis Norfleet can be to the Wolverines' offense what Darren Sproles has been to the Saints' offense (and formerly the Chargers'). Norfleet will be someone that can line up anywhere on the field and force the defense to be cognizant of him at all times, simply due to his electrifying speed. Additionally, I think he runs with unexpected toughness for a player of his stature, not unlike Sproles. Norfleet does not get taken down very easily and has an incredibly low center of gravity. Having our very own "Sproles" on the field with Michigan's other dynamic players (Jeremy Gallon, Fitz Toussaint, and uh…oh right, Denard!) presents an image that has had me salivating for the last few months.

So Basically...
I've seen people worried about Norfleet's lack of big time offers in addition to questions about his size, but knowing how much the recruiting websites focus on offers and obsess over size, the fact that he is a consensus 4 star should really tell you how talented the guy is. Norfleet loves Michigan, he has the speed that will frighten defenses, and he's as solid as a rock. I cannot wait to see his game-breaking ability featured on the Big House stage over the next couple of years.


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