Posted: 7:52 pm Monday, March 7th, 2011
By Matt Porter
The Palm Beach County football Class of 2012 is top-heavy with talent – about 870 pounds of it.
Three offensive linemen – six-foot-six, 315-pound Jessamen Dunker of Boynton Beach, Palm Beach Gardens’ Avery Young (6-6, 280) and Dwyer’s Patrick Miller (6-6, 275) – are poised to make a big impact on the area this year. All three are targeted by in-state powers Florida, Miami and Florida State, and schools as far as Oklahoma and Southern Cal.
Though spring practice doesn’t start until May 2, the interest from college coaches and recruiting websites is already white-hot.
“I’ve had five interviews or phone calls a night,” Dunker said. “It’s been crazy.”
Dunker, who grew up outside of Atlanta and moved to Boynton Beach before last season, said Florida is at the top of his list of 20 verbal scholarship offers (players cannot receive written scholarship offers prior to Sept. 1 of their senior year).
He visited the school during a recent Junior Day and was given a private tour of the campus. He said he connected with the coaches he met, and head coach Will Muschamp is “a real down-to-earth guy.”
“I had a good time while they were showing me around,” Dunker said. “I was driving through [Gainesville] and it seems like a place I could live.”
Right now, UF is the only school he’s visited. Dunker said he’s planning a spring break trip that includes Auburn, Alabama, Georgia and another stop in Gainesville.
Dunker, a nimble widebody who projects as an offensive tackle, will play both sides of the line this year to increase his endurance.
Like Dunker, Young has Georgia roots and is high on Florida’s list.
In January, Muschamp said Young was his No. 1 overall target for the 2012 class and the top-rated of the three offensive linemen he targets. Young, a three-year starter at left tackle for Gardens, has a boatload of offers including Alabama, Florida State, Georgia, N.C. State (where his brother, Detroit Lions defensive lineman Willie Young Jr. played) and Oklahoma. Southern Cal has recently entered the picture, as has Notre Dame. “It’s been crazy,” Palm Beach Gardens coach Chris Davis said.
Miller, who was dominant as a two-way starter for Dwyer last season, has offers from Florida, Florida State, Miami, Southern Cal, Auburn and Louisville. He hasn’t named a favorite.