We sat down with a top Gator target and four star recruit CJ Dunlap Jr. to talk about his recruitment process and his plans moving forward. Dunlap is 6’4 363 lb Offensive Guard of powerhouse IMG Academy in Bradenton, FL.
I will lead by saying that CJ is not related to Carlos Dunlap, the former Gator Defensive great.
With that being said, I would like to review CJ’s tape to help people understand what they may be getting with this four star recruit.
Dunlap has great agility for a man of his stature. Dunlap has a tenacious playing style and delivers powerful blows to defenders and drives through the contact. Dunlap anticipates where the defenders will be and finishes his blocks usually by pancaking his opponent. I think of him as a giant bulldozer, clearing a path for his teammates.
That is what teams are getting in Dunlap, at least that’s what you will get when you flip on his film. What the film won’t show you, is Dunlap’s compelling personality, his commitment to his team and craft, and his work ethic that is admired by his teammates.
Growing up, football was something Dunlap always wanted to do.
“I always wanted to play football growing up but my mom didn’t want me to get hurt,” Dunlap said. “I was my Mom’s little boy, she didn’t care how big I really was, she didn’t want me hurt.”
Dunlap’s Mom finally caved in and on Dunlap’s 12th birthday, finally allowed him the opportunity to play football.
CJ has seized the moment and has grown into one of the most highly sought after prospects in High School football. Dunlap currently has 41 offers to play football in College.
“I think I have about 41 offers, I kind of stopped counting after that,” Dunlap said. “But my recruitment is done, I have my top 10 out and I will be looking to choose between those schools.”
Currently Dunlap has a top 10 of Florida, LSU, Michigan, Oklahoma, UCF, FSU, Louisville, Miami, USC, and Memphis, in no specific order.
The deciding factor for Dunlap, will ultimately be which school builds the best relationship with him and is real with him.
“I want a good relationship with the coaches but it’s more than just that,” Dunlap said. “I want a coach to be real with me and not feeding me lies. Tell me if I have the potential to start as a Freshman, don’t just tell me I will.”
Academics is also important to Dunlap who plans to major in Marine Biology and hopefully double minor in Business and Photography.
“Photography has always been something I have been passionate about, you know taking pictures and what not,” Dunlap said.
Dunlap just came off a visit to the University of Florida and it seemed as if he really enjoyed his time here.
“I had a really good time at Florida,” Dunlap said. “I got to talk to Coach Davis a lot, he is a real dude. I hope I can make it back to the Swamp again.”
With High School winding down for Dunlap, I asked him what the best memory he has had so far in High School.
“My best memory is meeting the players here at IMG Academy,” Dunlap said. “These are my brothers here, anything that they need, and I have, they know they got.”
Dunlap went on to explain how making the move to IMG Academy has made him a better person and player.
“Before I transferred to IMG, I was arrogant and cocky, I ran my old school,” Dunlap said. “But my brothers here at IMG helped me readjust my thinking and change my whole out look on life.”
Dunlap ended up transferring to IMG Academy with the guidance from his father and it truly has been a blessing for him.
“I didn’t want to go to IMG Academy at first, I didn’t want to leave home yet,” Dunlap said. “But my Dad kept telling me how great of an opportunity it was and how I would get a new start so I went.”
That conversation with Dunlap’s Dad happened over a July 4th cookout. Dunlap was off to IMG Academy to play football just two weeks later. Dunlap is thankful for his fathers encouragement to join IMG Academy.
“I would definitely not be as mentally developed if I didn’t come to IMG Academy,” Dunlap said. “I wouldn’t be as physically prepared either and would probably still be arrogant.”
It truly was a pleasure to sit down and talk to Dunlap. CJ is wise beyond his years and stands out as someone you wish you could clone in your locker room. Dunlap has the things you can’t teach, has the mentality, maturity, at such a young age.
I couldn’t let Dunlap go without asking him who he thought would win the NCAA Tournament. CJ, after admitting he hasn’t followed it as closely as he would like, said he thinks UCLA will end up winning it.
We want to thank Dunlap for his time today and we wish him the best of luck moving forward in his recruiting process!