CHARLOTTE, N.C. --- Marlon Dunlap favors North Carolina, one of the schools to have offered the West Charlotte defensive tackle.
“Marlon is a relentless player – aggressive,” said Andrew Jordan, who was recently promoted from assistant coach to head coach. “He has the ability to put pressure on the quarterback and stop the run. He commands a double-team just about every pass play on the high school level – he’s hard to block one-on-one. He’s probably going to play three-technique on the collegiate level, but he has the feet and agility to play end or even standup a little bit as an outside linebacker.
Dunlap, who stands 6-foot-4, 275-pounds, will be a four-year varsity starter for West Charlotte. During his first three seasons, he flipped between three-technique and end on a four-man defensive front depending on the situation. The plan is to play him more at end this coming season.
“We’re trying to force defenses out of the double team [of Dunlap] and dictate their offensive play call,” Jordan said.
Dunlap ended his junior season with over 70 tackles and eight sacks.
In late April, North Carolina offered Dunlap a scholarship.
“They presented the offer to him, but they’re waiting for his SAT scores to come back,” Jordan said. “We’re in the position now of preparing Marlon to be qualified so that he can be in the position of just focusing on football.”
East Carolina and Georgia Southern have also offered Dunlap. Additionally, Clemson, Georgia, Georgia State, and Michigan State have sent coaches to West Charlotte this spring specifically to check in on Dunlap.
Dunlap, who attended two Tar Heel junior days, says UNC is his top school.
“I really like North Carolina,” Dunlap said. “I love the coaches. I like how the coaches brought me in and treated me like family.
“I’m not looking at this as just a football decision. And I know that North Carolina is a very good academic school. They offer my major, which is Sports Management.”
Although defensive line coach Tray Scott has been involved, Gunter Brewer has captained Dunlap’s recruitment. Brewer’s influence has extended beyond Dunlap and to the West Charlotte coaching staff, whose head coach unexpectedly passed away during the football season.
“[Brewer] was in contact with us when the season was over and we were in transition from the loss of our former coach,” Jordan said. “He stayed in touch and he showed us respect.”
Although he has crowned UNC his leader, don’t expect a commitment from Dunlap anytime soon.
“They’re not ready for me to make a decision yet – and I’m not ready to make a decision yet,” Dunlap said. “They want me to think long and hard. They really want me to work on my grades. And they’ve seen that I’ve already improved.”
Dunlap’s academic improvement coincided with UNC’s offer presentation.
Outside of UNC, NC State is the only school Dunlap has visited. He plans to use the summer to get out to schools like Florida, Florida State, Georgia, and Tennessee.
Dunlap has been a part of West Charlotte’s track-and-field team in the past – participating in the shot put and discus – but elected to skip this season to better focus on his academics… Dunlap’s defensive line coach, Norris McCleary, spent a couple years at UNC after his NFL career ended in 2001.
2016 Target: Marlon Dunlap
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