Syracuse has always been on the radar for big-time inside linebacker Tyler Dunning, who decommitted from Miami back on February 20. The 4-star talent from football machine St. Thomas Aquinas (FL) released his brand new top five today, and the Orange made the cut – along with Kentucky, Tennessee, LSU, and Arkansas.
The 6-foot-1, 239 pound Dunning is a big, physical player from a powerhouse that’s recently sent the likes of Sam Clausman and Colin Byrne to Central New York. Rated as the 14th best inside linebacker in the nation by Scout.com and the No. 9 ILB in the nation according to 247sports.com’s composite rankings, Dunning would immediately become a gem in this year’s class if he were to pledge to the Orange. Dunning is also rated by ESPN.com as the 231st best prospect overall in the nation in the class of 2017.
Dunning is viewed as being a little bit undersized for the middle linebacker position, but makes up for it with excellent athleticism and strength. Along with being a very good athlete, he’s got excellent instincts and a nose for the ball. He has a chance to become an immediate impact player on defense at the next level. There’s a reason that so may Power Five schools have been chasing after him, after all.
Per his HUDL page, Dunning lists a time of 4.69 in the 40, which is a strong time for a rising high school senior at the ILB position with nearly 240 pounds on a college-ready frame. He certainly fits the bill from a physical standpoint, and it’s never a bad thing to maintain a strong relationship with one of the best high school football programs in America. Dunning would be a massive pickup if Dino Babers and his staff are able to land him.