Prep Football: West Rowan’s Dunlap signs with UNC Pembroke
By Ronnie Gallagher
MOUNT ULLA ó West Rowan running back K.P. Parks was asked if defensive lineman Kenderic Dunlap ever gave him a good shot in practice.
“When he got to the line, the coaches told him to slow down,” laughed Parks, Rowan County’s all-time leading rusher.
There will be no letting up once Dunlap puts on the pads for his new team. The Falcon senior has signed with UNC Pembroke.
Dunlap joins a list of West Rowan players headed east to play for Pete Shinnick. He’ll join defensive backs Justin Avery and Jordan Lilly, along with offensive lineman David Melton.
Dunlap won’t be the only Rowan County player going either. East Rowan’s Ben DeCelle is also joining him.
“We’ve sorta got a little pipeline worked out with them,” West coach Scott Young smiled. “Every kid we’ve sent down there has done a good job for them.”
Young has no doubt that Dunlap will continue that tradition. The 6-foot, 250-pounder was a key figure in West Rowan’s 15-1 state championship season. He finished 2008 with 10 sacks and was all-county and all-conference.
“They told me I’d play defensive tackle, same thing as I did here,” said Dunlap, a two-year starter.
Dunlap will join a team that went 9-1 in only its second season. The Braves’ defense finished 2008 leading the country in scoring defense (11.2).
“One of the things we wanted to do this season is really recruit a whole team,” Shinnick said on the school’s website. “Top to bottom, it’s probably the best group that we’ve put together in every aspect ó type of student, people and players they are. We feel very fortunate about our incoming freshmen class.”
Young started pumping up Dunlap last summer about his future.
“We were watching Justin play in the East-West game and Coach Young told me, ‘You really have the potential to be here next year,’ ” Dunlap recalled.
Dunlap took his coach seriously.
“He worked his fanny off,” defensive coordinator David Hunt said. “He went from being a kid who had a little size but nothing else going for him to being a really great technician. He used his God-given speed and ability to the best of his ability, which makes him a highly qualified college player.”
Dunlap said his senior year left a “lifetime of memories” and he seemed to step it up in the playoffs. That’s where the interest from Pembroke increased. The Braves coaches saw two of those games, including the 35-7 win over West Craven in the state title game.
“He had two great performances,” Young praised. “They liked him even more after his visit. Pembroke did a great job of recruiting him.”
Dunlap stayed with Melton on his visit and said, “It was a real good campus. I liked the atmosphere.”
Hunt wouldn’t be surprised to see his star pupil move outside.
“We moved him inside,” Hunt said. “I think he’ll end up as an edge rusher. He’ll use his speed to beat blockers off to the outside.”
And he’ll do it without a lot of self-promotion.
“He’s a quiet guy; he isn’t real vocal,” Hunt said. “He doesn’t scream and yell. He leads by example.”
Assistant Durwood Bynum, who also coaches Dunlap in wrestling, agreed.
“He takes care of business,” Bynum said. “He doesn’t talk about doing it. He just does it.”
Parks just hopes Dunlap doesn’t hurt those running backs in practice.
“When I saw him sign, it brought big smile to my face,” Parks said. “He’s got the size, quickness and strength. I think he’ll do great.”
Associated Press WASHINGTON ó The commissioner of the Mountain West Conference met with congressional aides, lobbying for changes to the... read more