The 2017 recruiting cycle is in full force and the coaching staff is working hard to put together a special Michigan class. The Wolverines already have eleven total commitment and currently sits in the top five in the nation for the 2017 class according to 247sports. The 2017 class all started with the first commitment they picked up in 2015 from 2017 Bloomfield Hills, MI (Brother Rice) three-star tight end Carter Dunaway. The longtime Michigan commit, has a few goals he will be taking on during the off-season, both in his game on the field and for his future team on the recruiting trail.
Dunaway got to watch the Michigan 2016 recruiting class get put together and become a very special class that eventually led to a top five finish in the 2016 rankings. Being the first commit to Michigan, Dunaway feels like he is one of the many leaders of the class and wants to make an even more special class with the 2017.
“I think we all have things that we bring to the table as far as leadership roles,” Dunaway commented about the 2017 Michigan commits. “Being the first to commit put a bit of that weight on me, but it’s pretty spread out among us. We all think we are leaders for the 2017 class and we will all do our part in making this a special class.”
“I do think that this class can be even better than the 2016 class. I think that if all the commits do what they are capable of, then the class can become the best in the nation.”
One of the major things Dunaway thinks the 2017 Michigan commits has to do in order to become one of the top recruiting classes in the nation is recruit prospects to Michigan. Commits need to become that extra recruiter for the staff. In addition, they have to sell the program well.
“I love Michigan and I always will,” Carter said. “I have dreamed of since I was a kid, playing for the Michigan football program. It runs in the family, so I think I will fit in well. For me it was not a hard decision being a legacy recruit for Michigan, and I think Michigan is a easy program to sell to other recruits. I mean Michigan has the a amazing coaching staff, education, facilities, and a awesome college town.”
Dunaway has a list of targets that the coaching staff gave him; a list of recruits they want him to recruit. The Great Lakes region is full of talent and Dunaway knows it, and he is trying to get the top-talent to come to Ann Arbor with him.
“I am focused on bringing in the top-talent in the state of Michigan to Ann Arbor. Donovan Peoples-Jones, Allen Stritzinger, and Mike Epstein are just a few that I am recruiting. Lot of major prospects. Allen seems to be pretty tight with Michigan. Peoples-Jones has a lot of options and I definitely think Michigan is up there. Epstein is new to Michigan and the coaching staff, he is still trying to learn more. He seems very interested.”
Over this past weekend, Dunaway put that list and recruiting effort to work for the spring game and junior day when Michigan hosted a lot of talented in-state recruits and out of state prospects. Well, his recruiting efforts paid off when his main target during the spring game, 2017 DL Phillip Paea, committed to Michigan.
“I thought the spring game was awesome! Nice work from both teams. Things are definitely coming together. Talked to almost all the coaches throughout the day and night. Everything is going really well and they were all happy with how the game turned out,” Dunaway said about the spring game.
“The spring game was good and all, but I was really excited when the prospect that me and Dylan McCaffrey recruited the hardest pulled the trigger on Michigan. We talked to Phillip Paea a lot and got him to commit. Dylan and I were sitting next to him, we got to know him a little bit better. Talked about the other schools and what he was looking for in a school. Explained what Michigan could bring him with education and athletics.”
Recruiting for Michigan is not the only thing that Dunaway wants to work on during the offseason. He is looking to elevate and improve his game a lot. Dunaway is planning on doing that by intense lifting and strength conditioning, 7-on-7 games to improve his route running abilities, and plans on participated in his high school’s track team to better his speed.
“I have been doing a lot of strength training and lifting. Also, some weekly 7-on-7 game to improve my route running and receiver intelligence. The Michigan coaching staff just keeps telling me that you can never stop getting better. It’s important that I continue to get stronger and faster. Might do some track as well.”
Many programs have started to take interest in Dunaway and have started to recruit him a little over the past few months. Despite growing interest from other programs this Michigan legacy remains firm in his pledge to the Maize and Blue.
“LSU, Michigan State, Yale, Stanford, Notre Dame, and Penn State have all expressed interest in me over the past few weeks. I have some interest in the schools, I am not sure as of right now if I want to visit or not. It’s tough because I don’t want to give Michigan any reason to feel that I am not fully committed.”
The coaching staff wants to see Dunaway workout and run some drills. Well, over the summer, Dunaway plans to camp at Michigan, so he can spend more time with the coaching staff and show the coaches how he has developed in his game.
– Shane Kinnee (Senior Editor)