Posted: 6:55 pm Monday, March 21st, 2011
By Matt Porter
If Jessamen Dunker takes hold of his senior season at Boynton Beach the way he’s taken hold of his recruitment, the Florida Gators are going to have a big-time player on their hands.
Monday evening, the massive lineman (6-foot-6, 315) sent a text message to reporters announcing his commitment to Florida. When reached via phone, Dunker reiterated what he’s said throughout the process: Florida feels like home.
“It wasn’t hard of a choice after I really thought about it,” Dunker said. “It’s a comfort level with the coaches, the atmosphere there and the support the sports teams get, the experience that the coaching staff has.”
Dunker said he’s sure of his decision, and that while he’s enjoyed the attention that comes with the recruiting process, he decided it was right to call the race early.
“I figured I shouldn’t keep people waiting,” Dunker said, referring to his family, friends and fans who follow college football recruiting. “My commitment allows me to focus on my schoolwork.”
Dunker, who has more than 20 Div. I offers, recently named Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Auburn and LSU as his top five. He said he will still take his five official visits. He visited Florida, Auburn and Georgia last week over spring break.
The metro-Atlanta native said he enjoyed his visits to those schools — especially Georgia — but he visited Florida prior to last week and named the Gators as his early leader several weeks ago. On Monday he informed his parents, Boynton Beach coaches and UF coaches of his decision. He said Florida wide receivers coach Aubrey Hill, who handled much of his recruitment, was especially pleased.
“They were really excited,” Dunker said. “Soon as I told Coach Hill about it, he started screaming and yelling.”
Dunker, who will play offensive and defensive tackle this season to increase his stamina, says he’s a better run-blocker than pass protector right now. His goals for the summer are to increase his stamina and his pass-protection skills.
He likes the lineup Florida has, and hopes to earn early playing time.
“They definitely need OTs,” Dunker said. “That’s a good look for me.”
Verbal commitments are nonbinding. National signing day is Feb. 1, 2012.