UM In Good Shape For LB

Hollywood (Fla.) Chaminade standout wide receiver/linebacker John Dunlap predicted back in August that his team would win the Class 2A state championship. "I told you back in August that we'd win it," Dunlap said, excitedly.

"You knew after watching us back then. We finished it off this year. There was no way we were gonna come as close as we did last year without finishing the job."

Dunlap said he wishes there were more games to be played this season.

"I wanna play Carol City," he said. "They're 6A champs. I think we can beat anyone in this state. I see these lists of top teams in the whole country, where are the south Florida teams? Come on man, let 'em play the schedule the teams down here play. I'd love to play some of those teams, like De La Salle. Bring 'em on."

Confidence is something Dunlap certainly doesn't lack. The talented senior finished the season with 25 catches for over 400 yards and nine touchdowns. Defensively, he had 50 tackles and five sacks.

"I'm all over the field," he said. "Nobody was able to stop me all year. Nobody. I knew they wouldn't. I was just ballin man, for real, I was doing my thing. Now I'm gettin my ring."

At 6-2 and 215 pounds, Dunlap projects as a linebacker at the college level. He's become a major priority for several college coaches in recent weeks.

"Coach Red (Anderson) from Florida is here right now," he said, as his mom met with the coach in the background. "Coach Chud was here last night. I'm getting more coming here later too."

Dunlap has already taken one official visit and has his other four all set.

"I went to N.C. State already," he said. "It was alright. I had fun. I was supposed to go to Virginia Tech last weekend but I missed my flight out of Gainesville so it got rescheduled for the last weekend in January. On the 9th, I'm going to Florida State, the next week Miami, and the week after Florida."

The standout linebacker was previously being recruited by former UM coach Mark Stoops. That changed recently.

"When Coach Stoops left, Coach Chud took over," he said. "He was here talking to me and my mom. He was just telling us about the academics, the program, and all that stuff. He's saying how they're gonna be losing some great linebackers and they need to get some more in there. That's the thing about Miami, they're gonna bring in great players so there will be lots of competition. That's why they win. I'll compete with anyone. That's what I want when I get to college."

Dunlap believes he can fit in well in UM's defense. He talked more about that opportunity.

"I think I could make a name for myself at UM," he said. "I don't like to lose. It hasn't happened much the last few years. I know it won't happen much at Miami either. It's close to home and I feel real comfortable there. I'm not ready to commit though. I'll wait for my visits."

Dunlap was glad to hear that teammate Octavius Darby was offered by the Hurricanes in recent weeks.

"He was real happy about it," he said. "We have talked about going together and when Miami offered, that means we could both go. I'd say it's gonna be out of Miami and Florida."

Dunlap is a full academic qualifier.

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