|Carter Dunaway with Jim Harbaugh (image via Twitter)|
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Bloomfield Hills (MI) Brother Rice tight end Carter Dunaway committed to Michigan on Friday night. The 2017 prospect had no other offers at the time of his commitment.
Dunaway is 6’6″, 232 lbs. and, according to Maxpreps, had 1 catch for 9 yards (plus a two-point conversion) as a sophomore in 2014.
247 Sports: Unranked
Dunaway is the son of former Michigan tight end Craig Dunaway, who caught 55 passes for 775 yards and 8 touchdowns for Bo Schembechler in the early 1980s. Carter’s older brother, Jack, will be a preferred walk-on defensive end out of Brother Rice this coming fall (LINK).
Carter was offered two weeks ago on the weekend of Michigan’s spring game. He was essentially considered a shoo-in for Michigan at the time, and that assumption turned out to be spot on.
Not much is known in the recruiting world about his abilities. He obviously has good size for a high school sophomore, and he has good bloodlines with his dad (who went on to spend one year in the NFL) and a brother who’s a pretty good athlete. He spent his sophomore season mostly watching senior tight ends Brian Fortin (18 catches, 195 yards, 4 touchdowns) and Michael Roney (22 catches, 366 yards, 2 touchdowns) catch passes from Alex Malzone, who is now playing quarterback for Michigan. That obviously worked well for Brother Rice on their way to a 10-1 record, but it doesn’t tell us much about Dunaway.
In my years of following and analyzing Michigan recruiting, this is the biggest head-scratcher I have seen. Brother Rice is a solid program in the state of Michigan, but even at national powerhouses, I have never seen Michigan offer a scholarship to a third-stringer. Personally, I believe that players are made on game day, and presumably without much film (Carter does not have a highlight video), the coaches were going off of meeting him, perhaps watching him work out, and the advice of non-staff members (Dunaway’s family members, coaches, etc.). Certainly Michigan’s staff could have waited until a few games into Carter’s junior season to see how he fared before pulling the trigger on an offer.
But Jim Harbaugh chose not to do so. I mean, we’re talking about Jim Harbaugh, who is extremely competitive and a tight end whisperer. There are four options here:
- Harbaugh’s legendary intensity has been overcome by Michigan nostalgia, and he offers any and every Michigan legacy.
- Harbaugh likes what he and his staff have seen of Carter Dunaway in workouts enough to the point that game film and experience are superfluous.
- Michigan could feasibly have a giant 2017 class, so there are bound to be a couple flyers.
- Harbaugh can turn anybody who’s 6’6″ into a stud tight end.
In addition to Malzone and preferred walk-on Jack, the Wolverines also signed wide receiver Grant Perry out of Brother Rice in the 2015 class.
TTB Rating: 100*
*Just kidding. I won’t give out TTB Ratings for 2017 kids until the 2016 class is complete.