Exit Dennis Norfleet

Submitted by Brian on May 12th, 2015 at 1:23 PM

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the last of the famous international playboys

This rumor had been floating around for a couple weeks now, picked up steam on Rivals this morning, and has now been confirmed by Nick Baumgardner:

ANN ARBOR -- Dennis Norfleet is no longer a part of Michigan's football team, according to his former high school coach.

Martin Luther King High School football coach Dale Harvel told MLive on Tuesday that Norfleet has been dismissed from Michigan's program by coach Jim Harbaugh.

"Evidently he was dismissed from the team, Dennis informed us he was no longer on the team," Harvel said Tuesday afternoon. "Something about a disciplinary thing between him and coach Harbaugh. Whether it was academics or something internal, I'm not sure. He just said they had a disagreement and he was let go."

I have heard it was academic. Not sure if that's a slackness that is now verboten under the new regime or a Norfleet morale issue leading to breakdowns elsewhere. [UPDATE: Steve Lorenz says he skipped "more than one final."]

The writing was on the wall as far as Norfleet's career went when he featured as a tiny cornerback in the spring game and was mercilessly picked on for the only offense of the day. With that secondary and that WR corps, the fact he was on defense was a death knell. He may have continued returning kicks and punts; even that job was going to be put under major threat by Jabrill Peppers.

This does get Michigan to 85 scholarships, give or take a walk-on. With a couple of medical hardships likely to be on the way, there should be room to add a fifth-year WR or two, as Mike Spath has suggested might happen.

I will now go sit by myself in a dark room and listen to the Smiths.

Comments

93Grad

May 12th, 2015 at 1:25 PM ^

Too bad but not a huge surprise. It's not hard to imagine Fleet not liking where he fit into the new offense/ defense. I suspect we shall saw more and more attrition over the coming months.

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JTrain

May 12th, 2015 at 1:29 PM ^

Sorry Brian. I've had a mancrush before and it didn't work out for me either (Josh Furman). It's terribly disappointing but it happens from time to time. You will feel better in no time...or when he transfers and "lights it up" (again... see Josh Furman).

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MattisonMan

May 12th, 2015 at 1:32 PM ^

Pretty decent odds that he's the latest in the string of former wolverines who play well elsewhere. His frustrating under-use will always be emblematic of the Hoke regime for me.

bronxblue

May 12th, 2015 at 1:33 PM ^

It's sad to see him gone, but he might have been the worst fit possible for the two most recent eras of this program.  Wish him the best, obviously, and hopefully he lands somewhere that is a better fit.

Gucci Mane

May 12th, 2015 at 1:49 PM ^

Dennis was one of my favorite players. So sad to see him go. Hopefully he can have success somewhere as the slot ninja he was destined to be !

stephenrjking

May 12th, 2015 at 1:50 PM ^

Sad, because he was a likable guy and he was fun to watch.

In football terms this means little. And it's possible that his morale regarding football influenced his academic performance.

I will say this: a lot of people rooted for him to succeed as an underdog, fun player kind of story, and he never quite had the speed to do it. And that's ok. But IF (and it's a big "if" with any coach) Harbaugh achieves elite status with Michigan in performance and recruiting, we will look back on this era of players amused at how middling the team's talent used to be. The way Bama fans look at the Shula era, LSU fans at the Dinardo era, and so on. Nice teams, but nothing compared to the 11-and-12-win NFL factories they've become.

Some day when we've got a 4.3 guy housing TDs and massive receivers embarrassing cornerbacks and a DE eating QB lunches every week we might see Norfleet the same way. Maybe.

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Bando Calrissian

May 12th, 2015 at 1:59 PM ^

Who skips a final? I mean, seriously. I work with undergrads every day and I've experienced this phenomenon a couple of times with my students. And it never ceases to just boggle my mind.

I guess this probably merits the obligatory "less dancing, more class" comment.