Dugat on the Longhorns radar

Texas already boasts one of the top recruiting classes in the country with 19 commits, but the class is not finished yet. There seems to be a senior in the state every year that takes his play to another level or takes care of business in the classroom to open up more recruiting possibilities. This year's prospect is Dayton athlete A.J. Dugat and he's caught the attention of the Texas Longhorns.

A.J. Dugat has been a fixture of the Dayton Broncos football program for three years. Whether it be taking a handoff, turning a short catch into a long touchdown run, picking off a pass at corner or striking an opposing ball carrier playing the alley at safety, the 5-11, 193-pounder has dominated on most Friday nights.

As a sophomore, Dugat spent the majority of his time at receiver on offense catching 47 passes for 706 yards and nine touchdowns while mixing in at corner back. At 5-10, 180-pounds, the cousin of Baylor Bears senior guard Henry Dugat, was selected all-district.

The shifty runner followed up an impressive sophomore campaign with a junior year matched by few in the state of Texas. Playing receiver, running back, quarterback, corner and safety, Dugat served as a one man team on offense at times after the season ending ankle injury of Cody Green. Dugat amassed 1,028 receiving yards and 14 touchdown on 72 receptions, 94 carries for 536 yards and seven touchdown rushing and 463 yards and five touchdowns passing.

After his junior season, some of the top programs from around the region took notice. Dugat initially committed to TCU before switching to Houston. He fielded offers from the likes of Oklahoma State, Baylor, Texas Tech and Mississippi State in addition to UH and TCU.

The leader of the Broncos team didn't rest on his laurels in the summer leading up to his senior year working out on a daily basis and adding strength to an already sturdy frame. The result was an even better A.J. Dugat as a senior.

Again dominating on Friday nights, programs such as Arkansas and Kansas State threw their name in the hat offering the Houston Cougar commit. In the last couple of weeks, another regional program has entered the race, the Texas Longhorns. Excited about the news the Longhorns have begun to recruit him; Dugat has plans to attend the Texas A&M-Texas game on Thanksgiving Day.

"Yes sir, Texas is recruiting me," Dugat said. "I'm going to go to their game against Texas A&M and check things out. I want to get a feel for how close everything is around the school and see how close the players are. I'm looking for a team that is like a family,"

Dugat, who remains a Houston commit, says programs are recruiting him to play several positions and he just wants to get on the field anyway he can.

"Some schools are recruiting me at corner, some as a slot receiver and other positions. It doesn't matter to me where I play, I'll play anywhere," Dugat said, who hopes his older brother Michael gets the chance to walk on wherever he goes.

While the recruiting process certainly has the attention of the talented prospect, Saturday's playoff game against Livingston at Conroe Moorhead Stadium is first on his list of priorities. Dugat says he has faced constant double teams this year, but that has opened things up for others.

"My play this year is five-star. Teams have doubled me so much. I've just tried to help the team anyway I can. They don't know whether to try and stop the pass or the run against us. You might see me play a little linebacker in the playoffs too," Dugat said.

Dayton enters the playoffs 8-1 with their lone loss coming at the hands of Friendswood. In nine games, Dugat has 70 catches for 1,139 yards and 14 touchdowns and 34 carries for 358 yards and four additional touchdowns on offense. He has accounted for more than 40 tackles on defense playing safety and linebacker.


Horns Digest Top Stories