In this installment of The Recruit Notebook, we meet a blue chip addition to Miami’s CB group: CB Isaiah Dunson.
Early on in his recruitment, there was a clear front runner for the services of Tucker (GA) CB Isaiah Dunson. This program has a strong history of performance on the field, and they were the first BIG team to offer the 6’2” defensive back a scholarship. After taking an unofficial visit to this team’s campus, Dunson pulled the trigger and committed.
It was then that Dunson gave a verbal pledge to Florida State.
After making his commitment to Willie Taggart’s Noles in August 2018, Dunson attended a Junior Day in Tallahassee, and a school camp there as well. But, after Taggart was run out of town after losing to Miami yet again (man, that was fun), Dunson decommitted from the Noles in November. And, with a strong need for CBs in this clas, Miami (and others) hopped right into the picture by offering Dunson a scholarship.
After that, things happened quickly; Miami, Texas, and Ole Miss all extended offers to Dunson in January; Dunson took an Official Visit to Coral Gables the weekend of January 15th; and Dunson committed to the Canes on January 17th.
404✈️305 pic.twitter.com/y66wmhYSN4— Isaiah Dunson (@Freshrks) January 19, 2020
Dunson canceled future visits to Ole Miss and Texas, had an in-home visit with the Canes’ coaching staff, and put pen to paper inking his NLI this morning.
There is a clear parallel here to Miami’s recruitment of 4-star CB Christian Williams from the 2019 recruiting class. Both he and Dunson are 6’2” corners who were committed to top P5 programs (Alabama and Florida State, respectively) who separated from their prior committments late in the cycle and flipped to Miami by February’s NSD. Now, the work begins for both players to develop their skills and become impact additions to Miami’s secondary for now and the future.
On the 247sports composite, Dunson is a 4-star prospect, the #21 CB nationally in this class, #31 in the State of Georgia, and #325 recruit overall.
Dunson committed to Miami after decommitting from Florida State, and additional offers from South Carolina, Ole Miss, Texas, and 11 other programs.
As a player
Like many players, Dunson was a 2-way standout for Tucker (GA) this fall. At receiver, he mainly ran vertical routes, which utilized his above-average speed and good height to great advantage. Dunson wasn’t just out there running around for cardio, either. He had 10 TDs as a HS senior, so he was productive on the offensive side of the ball.
But, don’t let that fool you: Dunson’s best and future position is at CB. By far. He shows good quickness (evidenced by a 4.22 short shuttle time at a testing combine in the spring) and great instincts. Dunson is rarely out of position, and does his job well, reading route combinations and making plays on the ball, or on a receiving threat coming into his area (if playing zone).
Dunson’s height and length also show very well at CB. He’s a bigger kid at 6’2” 180lbs, so there were precious few (if any) WR’s who were mismatches with him because of their size. He could get stronger, sure, but most HS kids coming into college could.
Though he didn’t have to show it often on film, Dunson’s speed (which we saw in the offensive snaps he posted on his highlights) should translate well to being “recovery speed” if he gets beaten deep. No, he might not be able to run with the fastest players in the world, but with his combination of long speed and height/length, he should be able to recover and make plays down the field in coverage situations.
Lastly, Dunson shows decent physicality in run/short screen support. He’s quick to diagnose the play, and can be seen several times getting downhill toward the line of scrimmage quickly. LIke many DBs, he prefers to dive through the runner’s legs as opposed to a chest-to-chest form tackle, but he completes that interaction well, and gets the ball-carrier on the ground, and that’s what matters, right?
- Short area quickness
- Long-range speed
- Physical build (can add weight/strength)
- Refinement to technique
Miami needs cornerbacks in a bad way, and Dunson is a pretty good one. With only 5 other scholarship corners, there are snaps to be had, if Dunson can show that he’s ready for primetime. And, if not, there’s always room on special teams, too.
Chances for a Redshirt: 4/10
A player of Dunson’s size, speed, and ability is sorely needed in Miami’s secondary. Sure, he will have to learn the scheme and refine his skills and work his way up the depth chart a (very) little bit, but for this team to be successful, guys like Dunson will have to start hitting the field and proving their worth sooner than later.
That’s it for this installment of the Recruiting Notebook.