Slam Dunk for the Gators

The Florida Gators got as huge surprise on Monday when Boynton Beach offensive lineman Jessamen Dunker gave his verbal commitment to the Florida Gators. The massive lineman is a serious need for the Gators who have recruited thin along the line in the last two years. For Dunker, the commitment to Florida comes on the heels of a trip that made everything very clear.

Jessamen Dunker isn't your normal blue chip football recruiting story. The 6-6, 315 pounder was a basketball player only a year ago before deciding to take up the gridiron sport. The team is assembling now and has assured us that even with only one year of football under his belt. Dunker will be listed as one of the top ten offensive tackles in the country in a year that is deeper at the position than it has ever been.

Dunker is a special and rare athlete and has spent the last two weeks travelling around to different colleges and trying to find the right place to spend his college career. During the trip, he actually made up his mind.

"I was thinking to myself last week when I was taking all my visits, that none of these colleges felt like home," Dunker said after he visited Florida for a second time and hit several others.

"None of them felt like Florida."

The following Monday (today), Dunker called the Florida staff and let them know. To say the least, they were surprised and elated at the news.

"I called Aubrey Hill and told him I was a Gator (Monday)," Dunker said. "He started screaming, he was so excited. Everybody knew. I talked to Coach Muschamp and he said I made his year."

When asked how certain he was of finishing his recruitment as a Florida Gator, Dunker did not hesitate.

"I'm 100% sure UF is my home," he said. There were quite a few things that went into this decision, especially the people involved.

"My relationship with Coach Muschamp and Coach Hill, plus all the NFL experience that they have on the staff," Dunker said when pressed on why he committed. "They can help me get to the NFL, which is where I want to go…. But, it also just felt like home."

On his second visit to Gainesville over a week ago Dunker watched running back Matt Jones commit to the Florida staff. The moment was a big one as well and something that sunk in.

"I got a call from Matt Jones today," Dunker said after Jones heard of his commitment. "When Matt committed, I saw him tell Florida he needed a big offensive lineman like me to make holes."

That and a lot of other things made indelible impressions on Dunker. Now it is time for him to make his own impression in the SEC.

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