Mike DiNovo-US PRESSWIRE
Michigan's Dennis Norfleet has moved from running back to cornerback and could see time there in the Outback Bowl against South Carolina. The freshman will continue to return kicks.
Michigan Wolverines coach Brady Hoke revealed Friday evening that freshman Dennis Norfleet has moved from running back to cornerback and could play there in the Outback Bowl against the South Carolina Gamecocks.
Norfleet has been excellent as Michigan's kick returner this season, but he has not seen that much time on offense. Hoke and the coaches began to talk during the season about moving Norfleet to defense, with the move finally coming two weeks ago.
The 5'7" Norfleet has impressed coaches so far with his athleticism on defense (via mlive.com):
"He's done a nice job so far," Hoke said. "He's a good football player, and let's give him an opportunity to get on the field. Get into different packages, you could get him on the field easier.
"His ball skills are pretty daggone good. He's not the biggest guy in the world, obviously, but he's a competitor and loves to play."
Norfleet does have previous experience playing cornerback, as he played the position his sophomore and junior seasons at Martin Luther King High School in Detroit. If he does see time in the bowl game, he will likely play some nickel back, cutting into the playing time of junior Courtney Avery.
This move will have no effect on Norfleet's duties as Michigan's kick returner. The freshman is ranked third in the Big Ten in kick return average at 23.4 yards per attempt.