April 16, 2013
Bears like tall 2015 safety
Turns out everybody involved in the Whitehouse football program knew then-sophomore Justin Dunning was going to be starting in the secondary - except him.
"It was a big surprise,'' the 2015 safety said. "I worked out with the varsity last year but I didn't think too much of it because I was on the freshman team [in 2011]. But when the coaches came up to me before 2-a-days started in August, it really boosted my confidence. And I think it made me a better player.''
Indeed because at 6-3 and known as a tireless worker, he is catching the interest of the BCS programs around the state including Baylor. While he doesn't have an offer, Dunning is hoping either a strong effort in either the upcoming spring football season, summer 7-on-7 or attending several camps will change that.
While he hasn't been to Waco yet, he's been in touch with Baylor assistant Brian Norwood who has encouraged him to travel to Waco for one of the June camps. Baylor typically holds its camps in the first two weeks of the month.
"It would definitely be an unofficial visit for me should I get there,'' Dunning said. "I have a good relationship with him. But Baylor is like other schools like Texas and Texas A&M. They want to see more of me. I hope something there will change it.''
As overwhelmed as Dunning may have been by the promotion, he certainly rewarded his coaching staff's faith at free safety. He evolved into a playmaker with five interceptions - he said it was six but that one was called back - that supported 62 tackles and three fumble recoveries. That's created eight turnovers by one player. No wonder schools are intrigued.
Whitehouse primarily bases out of a 4-3 on first and second down, Dunning said. Then it will switch to the 3-4 on third down.
But he's pass coverage specialist first, run stopper second. While Baylor and most others are looking at him for the secondary, Texas Tech is considering him at wide receiver.
Dunning's older brother, Vincent, is a 2014 running back and is being recruiting. However, Justin said they are not a package deal.
"I'm definitely listening to people and Baylor,'' he said. "I'm just taking this as it comes. I hope some offers start coming in soon.''
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