The third installment in the USF Recruiting Class of 2016 Chronicle series introduces this player who hails from nearby Lake Wales and chose the hometown Bulls over big-time programs such as Georgia, Wisconsin, Michigan State, Florida, Cincinnati, Virginia, Kentucky and Iowa State amongst others. This dynamic defensive back will vie for snaps under lights in 2016: Lake Wales safety Josh Dunn stands at 6’0, 195 pounds, possess remarkable 4.58 burst, and a knack for delivering jarring hits reminiscent of former Bulls decleating dynamo Jamie Byrd.
Safety Josh Dunn ended his recruitment prior to the start of his senior season, committing to the South Florida Bulls as the then 10th member of the class of 2016. “They have the perfect position for me. I didn’t really know if I could play a true back safety or a true linebacker, but they have a position called the husky that’s like a third safety and I feel like that’s such a good spot for me,” Dunn commented on his potential new role for the Bulls.
“I went where my heart was telling me to go,” Dunn said. “I love the coaches and the environment. It was just time to commit.” “I love the campus and I love the environment. The brotherhood they share on the team and the coaches–it’s just something I want to be a part of and be close enough to have family and friends come to my games is exciting,” Dunn elaborated further on choosing USF.
Among the class of 2016 USF signees who could contribute immediately are Admiral Farragut safety Craig Watts, whom Head Coach Willie Taggart said will compete for the de facto husky spot vacated by Jamie Byrd. “That’s what they do, they strike people,” Taggart said. “(Watts) will be there at the striker position, him and (Lake Wales signee) Josh Dunn both.”
Dunn shined in his first year playing football for the Lake Wales, posting 67 tackles, 10 sacks, 10 tackles-for-loss, two interceptions and two touchdowns for the Highlanders in 2014. In 2015 as a senior, Dunn amassed 66 tackles (59 solo), 12.5 tackles for loss, posted four sacks, forced six fumbles, recovered two fumbles, and took an interception to the promised land. (Dunn’s HUDL Highlights)
“Maybe it’s not the biggest class from a quantity standpoint, but from a quality standpoint, it’s one of our best overall,” Taggart said. “These are talented kids who will come in and compete. Some kids will make an impact immediately. Maybe they’ll come in and take someone’s job.”
Dunn is ranked as the No. 65 prospect in the state of Florida by ESPN, making him one of the three USF class of 2016 commits in ESPN’s Top-100 for the Sunshine State, joining fellow Bulls wide receiver Darnell Salomon (39th) and safety Craig Watts (86th). The guys over at Big County Preps made Dunn their 8th ranked overall prospect in the 2016 class as well. With Dunn signing on the dotted line, USF’s 2016 class ended ranked 64th nationally and 4th in the AAC.
Noted at the bottom are Josh Dunn’s recruiting rankings from major services and links to Dunn’s numerous recruiting profiles. The 2016 Bulls sport the deepest secondary since the days of Nate Allen and Mike Jenkins, can you say #NoFlyZone?
by Matthew Manuri
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|Size-Strength-Speed||Corner with safety strength and measurable. Overall size is very good and knows how to utilize it in both run and pass support. Functionally strong and explosive. Speed is one area that raises concerns as a man-to-man cover corner in college but he flashes productive pursuit and play-speed.|
|Instincts/Recognition||Smart and aware in coverage. Understands zone coverages and where to position himself on the field to make plays. Very reactive with sound anticipation skills. Adept at passing on routes and jumping the hot ones that enters his zone.|
|Coverage Skills||Versatile coverage defender; shows effective man as well as zone skill-set. Utilizes his length in tight coverage to reroute receivers and retain proper leverage. Quick to close the cushion in zone schemes, reading, reacting and breaking with very good timing and burst. Transitions with good balance and explosion out of his pedal and is better coming forward than mirroring with sudden change of direction given his length.|
|Run Support||Very active run supporter who will come up quickly and set the edge and also create havoc as an edge bltizer. Strong tackler with good pop on contact and run through form from his hips. Will come in high at times and does need to watch his leverage. Has experience playing with his hand in the dirt at end and is actually very productive with his get-off and hand usage to get an up-field push and string out the run.|
|Bottom Line||Dunn is an intriguing prospect to evaluate, very scheme versatile. Plays mainly corner but with his measurables, range and closing ability we see safety as a better projection in college. A corner is still a possibility in the right underneath zone scheme. Should add a lot of value on special teams as well.|
|Underclassman Eval||STRENGTHS: Has very good size and movement skills with the ability to make tight turns and mirror receivers in man-to-man coverage. Displays the upper body strength with long arms to be effective in press coverage. Is an aggressive player with very good tackling skill set. Will uncoil a heavy hit when able to line up runner. … AREAS OF IMPROVEMENT: Being a taller corner, Dunn does show some tension in the hips when having to make a quick, sudden change. Continuing to add core strength will enhance his ability to be a sure tackler in space. … BOTTOM LINE: Dunn is a physical corner who will provide versatility within a defensive scheme. Would benefit from enhancing his overall technique to become more well rounded as a perimeter player. Possesses speed, quickness and measurables coveted for the position.|
|Notes||Previously attended Riverview High School (Sarasota).|
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