NCF On The Trail: Justin Dunning

The Early Offer is RecruitingNation's regular feature, giving you a daily dose of recruiting news across the country. Today’s offerings: George Campbell is one of the most highly sought after players in the country, but the five-star athlete will announce his decision Friday on ESPN.com’s RecruitingNation. Plus, we now know when No. 5 cornerback Tarvarus McFadden will announce his decision, and the battle to land him involves five of the best recruiters in the country. We also continue our tour of the top recruiting happenings on social media.

Tale of the tape: Texas-Texas A&M 

May, 23, 2014
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There are those who believe the rivalry between Texas and Texas A&M is dead because the two programs are no longer in the same conference.

[+] EnlargeKendall Sheffield
Sam Khan Jr./ESPNTexas and Texas A&M are both after Kendall Sheffield, the No. 2 CB in the nation.
Those people are misguided. And emphatically incorrect.

Two words in February by new Texas head coach Charlie Strong helped light a new spark in the rivalry between two of the most respected programs in the Lone Star State. When asked about A&M’s recruiting methods -- which includes coach Kevin Sumlin making player visits in a helicopter dubbed the “Swagcopter” -- Strong said the Longhorns didn’t need to be a “gadget program,” as the university and its prestige still was enough to attract recruits.

The rest of the spring and the upcoming summer will be perfect opportunities to gauge where both programs stand among some of the elite athletes who are still uncommitted. Which school will dominate in recruiting the 2015 class?


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Dallas NFTC notebook 

April, 5, 2014
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DeSOTO, Texas -- Rain flirted with the Dallas Nike Football Training Camp on Saturday, but held off long enough for seven athletes to earn invitations to The Opening this summer.

Quarterback Kyler Murray, linebacker Malik Jefferson, wide receiver DaMarkus Lodge, offensive lineman Patrick Vahe (Texas commit) and defensive backs Justin Dunning (Texas A&M commit), Will Sunderland Jr and P.J. Mbanasor. all earned golden tickets after stellar performances at DeSoto High School. Murray, Jefferson, Lodge, Vahe and Sunderland were named camp MVPs of their respective positions.


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ESPN Junior 300 safety Larry Pryor Jr. (Sulphur Springs, Texas/Sulphur Springs) has had a favorite for quite some time. All he needed was the offer.

When Pryor picked up an offer from Texas A&M last weekend, it wasn’t a matter of if he would commit to the Aggies, but when would it happen.

Thursday evening, the No. 91 player in the ESPN Junior 300 made it official, verbally committing to Kevin Sumlin and the Aggies to become the program’s seventh commit of the 2015 class. Pryor chose Texas A&M over offers from Texas, Baylor, Oklahoma, Notre Dame, Arkansas and several other programs.


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Shifting power: Texas 

January, 23, 2014
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Texas A&M has gone through and overcome a major case of the “you can’ts.”

You can’t leave the Big 12 and compete in the SEC.

You can’t win with Kevin Sumlin, a coach off a successful stint at Houston in mid-major conference play.

You can’t outrecruit your archrival Texas. You can’t win. Period.

For every negative critique, Texas A&M has managed to silence the doubters. With everything positive that’s happened with the Aggies the last two seasons, this year’s recruiting class may be the biggest accolade next to winning back-to-back bowl games under Sumlin. With 21 commits – including 10 ESPN 300 players -- Texas A&M has the No. 2 recruiting class in the nation, just behind Alabama.


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ESPN Junior 300 analysis: Big 12 

November, 19, 2013
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There was plenty of shakeup in the latest ESPN Junior 300, including some monumental jumps up the ranks -- and a few big tumbles.

Here is a look at some of the key recruits for the Big 12.


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Weekly Commitment Roundup

November, 15, 2013
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AAC
Louisville
Lukayus McNeil OT Indianapolis/Decatur Central
HT: 6-6 WT: 260
Positional Rank: No. 123 OT
Stars: 3

Rutgers
Jordan Fuchs TE-Y Middle Village, N.Y./Milford Academy
HT: 6-6 WT: 235
Positional Rank: N/A Post-Grad
Stars: 3

ACC
Miami (Fla.)
Anthony Moten DT Ft. Lauderdale, Fla./St. Thomas Aquinas
HT: 6-4 WT: 292
Positional Rank: No. 11 DT
Stars: 4
ESPN 300 (No. 176)

Virginia
Donovan Dowling WR Richmond, Va./Varina
HT: 6-1 WT: 200
Positional Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Big 12
Kansas
Damani Mosby DE Mesa, Ariz./Mesa CC
HT: 6-3 WT: 235
Positional Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Kansas State
Tramal Ivy DE Muskogee, Okla./Muskogee
HT: 6-4 WT: 230
Positional Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Big Ten
Wisconsin
Caleb Kinlaw RB Goose Creek, S.C./Goose Creek
HT: 5-11 WT: 184
Positional Rank: No. 106 RB
Stars: 3

Pac-12
UCLA
Cameron Griffin OLB Los Angeles/View Park
HT: 6-3 WT: 210
Positional Rank: No. 116 OLB
Stars: 3

SEC
Alabama
Da'Shawn Hand DE Woodbridge, Va./Woodbridge
HT: 6-4 WT: 262
Positional Rank: No. 2 DE
Stars: 5
ESPN 300 (No. 6)
Under Armour All-American

Arkansas
Santos Ramirez S Shreveport, La./Evangel Christian
HT: 6-1 WT: 170
Positional Rank: No. 120 S
Stars: 3

Florida
DeAndre Goolsby TE-H Derby, Kan./Derby
HT: 6-4 WT: 225
Positional Rank: No. 9 TE-H
Stars: 3

Kentucky
Montrell Custis CB Lovejoy, Ga./Lovejoy
HT: 5-11 WT: 168
Positional Rank: N/A
Stars: 3
Class of 2015

Missouri
Brandon Lee OLB Indianapolis/Lawrence Central
HT: 6-2 WT: 210
Positional Rank: No. 16 OLB
Stars: 4
ESPN 300 (No. 239)

Tennessee
Dimarya Mixon DE Mesquite, Texas/West
HT: 6-4 WT: 263
Positional Rank: N/A (late qualifier)
Stars: 3

Cory Thomas DT McCalla, Ala./McAdory
HT: 6-6 WT: 265
Positional Rank: #47 DT
Stars: 3

Texas A&M
Justin Dunning S Whitehouse, Texas/Whitehouse
HT: 6-3 WT: 190
Positional Rank: No. 10 S in 2015 class
Stars: 4
ESPN Junior 300 (No. 127)

C-USA
Florida Atlantic
Jewison Dawkins WR Ft. Lauderdale, Fla./Plantation
HT: 6-0 WT: 153

North Texas
Jalen Adams WR Moore, Okla./Southmoore
HT: 5-10 WT: 161
Positional Rank: No. 162 WR
Stars: 3

Tulane
Robert Kennedy ILB Belle Chasse, La./Belle Chasse
HT: 6-0 WT: 225

Tulsa
Michael Rios DT Fort Worth, Texas/Amon Carter-Riverside
HT: 6-3 WT: 280

Mid-American
Buffalo
Myles Nicholas OLB Rochester, N.Y./Irondequoit
HT: 6-2 WT: 220

Kevin Rogers QB-PP Cincinnati/Anderson
HT: 6-3 WT: 195

Toledo
Mykale Rogers WR Lima, Ohio/Central
HT: 6-1 WT: 175

Mountain West
Air Force
Nick Colson TE-Y Gilbert, Ariz./Higley
HT: 6-4 WT: 223

Boise State
Kekoa Nawahine S Meridian, Idaho/Rocky Mountain
HT: 6-2 WT: 190
Positional Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Hawaii
Nick Nelson WR Forestville, Md./Suitland
HT: 5-10 WT: 180
Positional Rank: #209 WR
Stars: 3

Devan Stubblefield WR Honolulu/St. Louis
HT: 6-0 WT: 185
Positional Rank: No. 133 WR
Stars: 3

Sun Belt
Louisiana-Monroe
Benjamin Luckett RB Palestine, Texas/Palestine
HT: 6-0 WT: 193

Aggies nab ESPN Junior 300 DB 

November, 10, 2013
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So many people were assuming that Justin Dunning (Whitehouse, Texas/Whitehouse) would make the SEC his home because he would follow one of his close friends on the gridiron.

True, the ESPN Junior 300 safety liked SEC football, and true, he decided to play in the SEC. To say that a friendship ultimately proved to be the deciding factor, however, was slightly misleading.

Nevertheless, Dunning on Sunday ended his recruiting process with a verbal commitment to Texas A&M. The 6-foot-3, 190-pound safety, ranked No. 127 in the ESPN Junior 300, became the fifth member of the Aggies’ 2015 recruiting class. Dunning was in College Station, Texas, over the weekend for Texas A&M’s final home game of the year against Mississippi State.

He revealed why he made the choice.


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Big 12 recruiting mailbag 

October, 18, 2013
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Are you a recruit itching to get your name out to college scouts, but don’t know the best way to go about it? We’ll give you a few tips on how to get your name out there as well as answer questions about what Texas’ win over Oklahoma meant for recruits, what percentage we give the Sooners with Joe Mixon, and a Houston tight end’s chances of landing in Austin in this week’s Big 12 recruiting mailbag.

From Hayden Karnos: Frank Iheanacho is a guy who is flying up these recruiting boards. Do you see Texas giving this guy an offer? I know we already have six commits, but this kid is huge and could fill a playmaking tight end role for the Longhorns that we definitely need.

Hayden, don’t forget that in addition to Texas’ six WR commitments in 2014 it also has a commitment from 6-foot-7 tight end John Thomas (Bossier City, La./Trinity Valley CC). I don’t think the Longhorns are in a position to take two tight ends in this class, considering they took Geoff Swaim in 2013. However, if they were going to entertain the idea I’d think Iheanacho would be on their short list. I have a feeling he’ll end up at Texas A&M, though. He’s scheduled to visit College Station this weekend.


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Weekend recruiting wrap: Big 12 

October, 14, 2013
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Last week wasn’t full of commitments for Big 12 programs, but it did yield an important verbal pledge for one team in Oklahoma. Speaking of Texas’ neighbor to the north, the Sooners suffered their first loss to the Longhorns in four years on Saturday. A look at why that victory was so important for UT and who exactly that commitment was is in this week’s Big 12 weekend wrap.

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Commits, targets chime in on Texas win 

October, 13, 2013
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Talk about needing a victory for multiple reasons.

More than 92,000 fans watched Texas on Saturday not only beat archrival Oklahoma in the Red River Rivalry but also temporarily silenced all of Mack Brown’s critics. When the game ended, there was no demand for Brown to call it quits as the Longhorns’ head coach at the end of the season. There was also no talk of Oklahoma’s seniors sweeping the rivalry through their four-year span.

All that was mentioned was the final score at the historic Cotton Bowl: Texas 36, Oklahoma 20. The Longhorns, considered major underdogs, grabbed a win that put them in first place Big 12, along with Texas Tech, at 3-0 -- a half-game ahead of Baylor and a full game ahead of Oklahoma.

It was a game that several recruiting targets had marked on their calendars. With 24 commits in its 2014 class, Texas doesn’t have much room to add players. However, the Longhorns are hoping to land one or two more elite athletes. Defensive end Solomon Thomas (Coppell, Texas/Coppell), safety Edwin Freeman (Arlington, Texas/Bowie) and cornerback Nick Watkins (Dallas/Bishop Dunne), all ESPN 300 players, are still considering the Longhorns.

There’s plenty of room, however, in the 2015 class, and while the Longhorns already have eight commits -- all ESPN Junior 300 players -- they are looking to add more playmakers. One player on hand who was impressed was ESPN Junior 300 receiver DaMarkus Lodge (Cedar Hill, Texas/Cedar Hill), who currently has the Longhorns high on his list.


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Big 12 recruiting storylines: Oct. 10 

October, 10, 2013
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The Big 12 has a big weekend ahead in Dallas and Texas Tech is surging. Here’s a look at some of the Big 12’s top recruiting storylines.

Big names set to attend Red River Rivalry
There is never a season, regardless of what type of shape either program is in, that the Cotton Bowl won’t be filled with some of the most desirable recruits in the country.

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Weekend recruiting wrap: ACC 

September, 23, 2013
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It was a relatively mellow slate in the ACC this week, but there turned out to be several results of significance. Clemson defeated NC State in Raleigh, N.C., a place known for upsets, and Virginia Tech escaped against Marshall in overtime.

In recruiting, a couple offers were issued and a commitment was made. More in our weekend wrap from around the ACC:


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Summer recruit wrap: Texas A&M 

July, 23, 2013
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Texas A&M's final one-day camp of the year wrapped up on Sunday and the start of fall practice is fewer than two weeks away for the Aggies. The summer has been a busy one on many fronts, but here's a look at five things we learned on the recruiting front about Texas A&M this summer:

1. The Aggies got their quarterback


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Summer Recruit Wrap: Texas 

July, 23, 2013
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Here is a look at five things we’ve learned about Longhorns recruiting this summer.

1. Suddes making big impact

Patrick Suddes, Texas’ Director of Player Personnel, could go down as one of coach Mack Brown’s best hires in his time at UT. All Suddes has done since coming on board in March is help make smart, innovative decisions that have helped the Longhorns appeal to recruits despite not winning like they’re used to on the field.


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