Reports: Michigan football team picks up surprise commit from 4-star Detroit tailback Dennis Norfleet
A supposed quiet signing day for the Michigan football team got off to a loud start in the wee hours of Wednesday morning.
The Wolverines picked up a verbal commitment shortly after midnight from Detroit tailback Dennis Norfleet, according to multiple reports. He becomes the team's 25th member of a class that already ranked No. 5, according to Scout, and No. 4, according to Rivals.After securing a commitment from Ohio defensive lineman Willie Henry on Monday, Michigan was expected to stand pat through signing day, as the bulk of the 21 players not already on campus faxed in their letters of intent.
Norfleet, who had been committed to Cincinnati, had other plans after Michigan offered him Tuesday night. The four-star prospect quickly agreed to become the Wolverines' second tailback for 2012, joining Ann Arbor product Drake Johnson.
Norfleet, who stands 5-feet-7, 170 pounds, is Rivals' No. 5 all-purpose back in the country and Scout's No. 19 running back. The Detroit King product has been clocked as fast as 4.39 seconds in the 40-yard dash.
Those kinds of numbers are comparable to current Michigan backup tailback Vincent Smith, who was listed as 5-foot-8, 165 pounds coming out of Pahokee (Fla.) High School and posted a 4.62-second 40-yard time, according to Scout.
Norfleet's size and speed mean he likely will fit into the punt and kick return games, and he also could factor in as a slot receiver.
He had a prolific career at Detroit King, where he rushed for more than 5,000 yards and scored 78 touchdowns.
Most of Norfleet's offers were from low- to mid-level schools such as Cincinnati, Indiana and Central Michigan, although Alabama and Tennessee also offered him.
The Wolverines' last known target is Jordan Diamond, a four-star offensive lineman who is expected to announce Friday. So, signing day could pass relatively quietly after the late-night stunner.
But, you never know.