Six months have passed since Justin Dunning tore the ACL in his right knee. The four-star safety from Whitehouse (Tx.) has had a long road coming back from the injury.
"Recovery was crazy," said Dunning, who suffered the injury in the second half of Whitehouse's win against Tyler Chapel Hill on Sept. 5. "Really had to put in work to get back to where I was."
The 6-foot-4, 200-pound Dunning isn't rushing himself to do too much on the knee just yet. He's running track, but he's not doing a lot of jumping or cutting on the knee, he said. He's running the 100-meter dash as well as serving as a member of Whitehouse's 4x100-meter relay team.
"It's really just helping me get my speed back and getting in shape," Dunning said.
Dunning committed to Texas A&M in November, a few weeks after the Aggies got the commitment of Gladewater (Tx.) five-star defensive tackle Daylon Mack. That duo preceded the pledge of Sulphur Springs (Tx.) four-star safety Larry Pryor, who committed to Texas A&M at the end of January after the Aggies held a junior day event.
"Junior day was great," Dunning said. "Had a lot of fun."
Dunning first emerged on recruiters' radars as a sophomore in 2012, when he led Whitehouse with five interceptions. He also had 61 tackles, two fumble recoveries, and five pass breakups.
Dunning possesses a rare combination of size and athleticism. He's built like a big receiver and has been laser-timed as fast as 4.41 seconds in the 40-yard dash (last spring's East Texas Sports Network combine). He also recorded a vertical leap of 40 inches at that event.
Though his large frame stands out, Dunning excels as a center field-type safety. His length, ranginess, and speed give him the ability to cover a ton of territory at the back end of the defense.
Dunning, who said he plans to visit College Station sometime this semester, is considered a solid commitment to the Aggies despite a slew of other big offers: Arizona State, Baylor, Florida State, LSU, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas, Texas Tech, and Vanderbilt.