Whitehouse’s Justin Dunning Punctuates Busy Week With Strong Showing At State 7-on-7 Tournament
COLLEGE STATION — It certainly was not an ordinary week. Then again, Whitehouse safety Justin Dunning is not your garden-variety athlete.
A busy week, which began with an eye-opening performance at NIke’s The Opening in Oregon, wrapped up Saturday in College Station as Dunning and Co. helped lead Whitehouse to a state runner-up finish at the state 7-on-7 championships.
ETSN.fm caught up with the Texas A&M commit Friday afternoon, just a handful of hours after he arrived on a plane in Houston from Oregon and was driven to College Station in time to participate in the two-day event.
“Right now, physically I’m pretty exhausted,” Dunning said following his team’s 38-18 pool-play opening win over Cy Fair. “I had a good workout at The Opening. There wasn’t much sleep on the plane, so I really didn’t get any sleep last night.”
Dunning’s four-hour flight took off around midnight (Oregon time), and did not arrive in Houston until 6 a.m. because of the two-hour time change. He then had to be transported by car to College Station in time to be registered for the tournament. Dunning said he arrived a little after 8 a.m. Friday morning.
Needless to say, there was not much time to reflect on Dunning’s success at Nike’s The Opening, a showcase of the nation’s top high school talent.
“I’m pretty much just going with the flow right now,” Dunning said. “I know I had a pretty good time and did great out there, but I really haven’t sat down and thought about it yet.”
Dunning placed 13th in the final SPARQ rankings with a score of 129.00. He measured in at 6-3 1/2, 204 pounds, ran a 4.59 40-yard dash and went 38.9 inches on his vertical jump.
But it was his work on the field that received the most attention. Playing for team Vapor Carbon, Dunning racked up six interceptions during his team’s 7-on-7 games.
Not bad for someone who is only 10 months removed from surgery to repair a torn ACL suffered in Whitehouse’s second game of the 2013 season.
Dunning was one of six East Texas athletes invited to The Opening. Gilmer cornerback Kris Boyd (undecided), Gladewater defensive tackle Daylon Mack (Texas A&M), Longview running back JaMycal Hasty (Baylor), Sulphur Springs safety Larry Pryor (Texas A&M), Nacogdoches cornerback Jaylon Lane (Oklahoma State) and Dunning all competed last week in Oregon.
“We were representing, for real,” Dunning said of his East Texas brethren. “We had a lot of Texas people out there, and a lot of us are committed to A&M.”
Dunning, still very much solid in his commitment to the Aggies, said he plans to visit Texas A&M sometime in August when the team begins its pre-season practices.