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 and the No. 9 ILB in the nation according to’s composite rankings, Dunning would immediately become a gem in this year’s class if he were to pledge to the Orange.┬áDunning is also rated by 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.

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Jeff is a 2003 graduate of Syracuse University, and has been published on various websites including,,,, and, among others. His work was featured in the New York Times bestselling book You Might Be a Zombie and Other Bad News. He's got a wife, and a toddler he's brainwashing to love Syracuse. Jeff's a pretty great guy, overall, and would never steal your car. Follow him on Twitter: @jekelish