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Norfleet to Michigan

For Dennis Norfleet, Tuesday started off with a surprise and ended with a dream.

As a senior, Norfleet rushed 292 times for 2,552 yards and 26 touchdowns. He will be all over the field in a Wolverines uniform.

After receiving a last-minute scholarship offer from Michigan, the four-star running back out of Detroit (Mich.) King is no longer committed to Cincinnati, and has decided to attend school in nearby Ann Arbor while playing football for the Wolverines.

Ranked as the nation’s No. 7 all-purpose back and No. 169 prospect overall, the 5-foot-8, 175-pound Norfleet is the 25th commit for Michigan in the class of 2012, and the 14th holding four-star status.

“(Tuesday) was a dream come true and it’s something you can’t get often,” Norfleet said. “It’s a big day for me.”

The big day started after school and before Norfleet left for his basketball game. His grandfather told him he had good news for him coming after the game. Unfortunately Norfleet and King lost, and his grandfather told him to hurry back to the house.

“I get home and he puts some papers in front of my face,” Norfleet said. “I said what’s this? He said read it, and I saw it was Michigan.”

Committed to Cincinnati since early August, Norfleet talked things over with his grandparents for a couple hours. He then got on the phone with Michigan head coach Brady Hoke and running backs coach Fred Jackson to hear them out.

“Talking to them, it really made me know how they really feel about me,” Norfleet said. “Me knowing how there is going to be a bond. Talking to the head coach, it really doesn’t get better than that.”

With that being said, Norfleet made up his mind he was a Michigan man, and put in the call to Cincinnati coach Butch Jones to tell him the news. Norfleet described it as the toughest thing he’s ever had to do.

Playing close to home was a big deal to Norfleet, as he is one of the many success stories to come out of the area's Lifting As We Climb/Maximum Exposure program founded by Detroit native Curtis Blackwell. The non-profit organization helps mentor kids to stay on track in the classroom and on the football field, while helping them grow into young men. Besides Norfleet, other top area athletes involved includes Syracuse commit Ronald Thompson, Iowa safety commit Ruben Lile, Cincinnati pledge Leviticus Payne and Michigan's class of 2013 quarterback verbal Shane Morris.

“Michigan is a great football team, a great school,” Norfleet said. “They have great coaches. The players bond is strong like a family, and that’s one thing you need as a team. That’s what Michigan is about and that’s what I want to be part of.

“Every year for at least the last five years, I’ve gone to at least two Michigan games a year. This made my night. That’s where I see myself playing.”

As a senior, Norfleet rushed 292 times for 2,552 yards and 26 touchdowns. He will be all over the field in a Wolverines uniform.

“I’m going to be playing kick return, punt return, slot and running back,” Norfleet said.

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