King High’s Dennis Norfleet named PSL Proud Strong Learner of the Week for the third time

Dennis Norfleet is back at it again.

After carrying the ball 34 times for 181 yards and two touchdowns last Friday in a 26-14 victory against Crockett, the Martin Luther King High running back has been named the Detroit Public School League’s Proud Strong Learner of the Week for an unprecedented third time.

Norfleet, a 5-8, 177-pound senior, continues to solidify his status as the PSL’s premier athlete.

Last fall, he was named the very first Proud Strong Learner of the Week for his football exploits and he became the only repeat winner of the award last winter by excelling for the Crusaders on the basketball court.

“He’s the same guy he’s always been for us, and he’s playing defense now, so he’s doing even more,’’ King football coach Dale Harvel said.  “No matter what he does on the field, we know he’s going to do it at a high level.”

Norfleet piled up 1,880 yards rushing and 31 touchdowns last year while emerging as one of the top college football recruits in the country. He has since given a verbal commitment to play at Cincinnati, and is well on his way toward a possible 2,000-yard final prep season after running for 230 yards on 34 carries in King’s season-opening 28-21 nonleague loss to Birmingham Brother Rice.

“That loss just made us stronger and it helped us come together as one,’’ Norfleet said. “It showed us some things that we needed to work on and it showed us that we needed to work harder.”

Norfleet, in particular, seemed to take the lesson to heart as he almost single-handedly willed King to the victory against Crockett. In addition to his offensive outburst, he also had a late-game interception off Crockett quarterback Brian Blackburn that sealed any chance the Rockets had of mounting a comeback.

“I’m enjoying every time I’m on field, whether it’s on offense or defense,” Norfleet said.  “I’m just doing whatever I can to help my team win.”

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