O-lineman Dunker commits to UF for 2012


Published: Monday, March 21, 2011 at 8:08 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, March 21, 2011 at 8:08 p.m.

After spending a week visiting schools, Jessamen Dunker has made his college decision.

The 6-foot-6, 315-pound Boynton Beach offensive lineman became Florida's sixth commitment of the 2012 recruiting class, after giving his verbal pledge Monday night.

Dunker's original plan was to wait until after his senior season to commit somewhere. He wanted to take his visits and really process everything. However, after visiting Florida, Auburn and Georgia during his Spring Break, Dunker decided Florida was the place for him.

“I did a lot of thinking about it and every time I started thinking about my top five, I kept comparing them to Florida and they really didn't match up with what I needed and what I wanted and the bond I have at Florida with the coaches and the team,” Dunker said.

Dunker first fell for Florida's program back in February when he visited one of Florida's Junior Days. After getting a tour of campus and sitting down privately with coach Will Muschamp, Dunker attended Florida's men's basketball game against Tennessee. Dunker said he was swept away by the atmosphere inside the O'Connell Center for the game.

He then walked around campus with one of this high school teammates and felt even more at home with his surroundings. Before leaving, he says he was tempted to commit, but wanted to check out other schools before making anything final.

However, his other visits never compared to his experience in Gainesville.

“After I took those visits, I came away (knowing) that I wanted to go to Florida,” he said.

The strong relationship Dunker developed with wide receivers coach Aubrey Hill, who was in charge of his recruitment, and the opportunity to learn from new offensive line coach Frank Verducci were two major factors in his commitment, Dunker said. Verducci's NFL history was something that sold him on Florida early.

Dunker said he will “probably” visit Auburn, Georgia, LSU and Alabama either this summer or fall, but insists he's solid in his commitment to Florida.

He'd even like to graduate early in order to get a head start on learning Florida's offense next spring.

“I just think it's home when I think about Florida,” he said. “That's the place I feel comfortable the most at.”

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