Hello: Carter Dunaway

Submitted by Ace on April 20th, 2015 at 1:56 PM

Carter Dunaway (R) with his brother, 2015 walk-on Jack Dunaway.

Michigan picked up its first commitment of the 2017 class last week in Birmingham (MI) Brother Rice tight end Carter Dunaway, who was offered while visiting for the spring game and didn't wait long to make his decision.

It's not surprising Dunaway jumped at the chance to play for Michigan. His father, Craig, played tight end under Bo Schembechler. His brother, Jack, is a preferred walk-on defensive end in the 2015 class. With former high school teammates Alex Malzone and Grant Perry also joining the program, Dunaway had plenty of motivation to make a commitment, and he told The Wolverine's Brandon Brown he didn't see any reason to wait ($):

"Obviously when I got the offer it was a big shock," Dunaway said. "I wanted to talk about it with my family and go over everything with them. After I was able to do that, I realized that I'm going to end up at Michigan anyway. Why prolong the whole recruiting process? I wanted to get it over with right now and focus on my high school season and get my goals straight. It was just a good time for me to get that done and go down there and talk to Coach [Jim] Harbaugh.

"I actually went to his office to tell him in person. He was actually at the Tigers game before I got there but he was just hanging out, talking with a couple of coaches. I went into his office and talked to him and that's when I committed."

Dunaway plans to do some recruiting of his own, especially in-state, now that he's made his decision.


Scout Rivals ESPN 247 247 Comp

Dunaway isn't ranked by any of the four sites, and there are very apparent reasons for this: he played a backup role on a senior-laden Brother Rice squad last season, to the point that there isn't any sophomore film freely available on him—it'd be short, anyway, as Dunaway had one reception in 2014. It's safe to say there's a lot of projection in this offer from Jim Harbaugh's end, with Dunaway's 6'6", 230-pound frame playing a significant role.


As mentioned above, Dunaway wasn't a significant part of the Brother Rice offense last season, as he was stuck behind a pair of productive senior tight ends; Michael Roney and Dylan Fortin combined for 40 catches from that spot, and with Alex Malzone's favorite wide receiver, Grant Perry, accounting for another 105 receptions, there were only so many targets to go around.

Dunaway hasn't made a significant mark on the camp circuit, either. There's only a short video of him going through drills at last May's Midwest Elite Camp...

I have no idea what to make of this.

...and him giving a self-evaluation to GBW's Josh Newkirk afterwards ($):

Only a freshman, Dunaway put his talents on display this past Saturday in the Midwest Elite Camp. The 6-foot-6, 225-pounder was impressive, as he showcased good coordination and catching ability throughout the camp.

"I think I am doing okay," Dunaway said. "I have made a couple good catches. I'm working hard out here. I am going as fast as I can in every drill. So I think I am doing pretty well."

Right now, we have a frame and a legacy. We'll know a lot more this fall, when Dunaway projects to be a major part of a Brother Rice offense replacing six of its top seven receivers.


Michigan was the only school to offer Dunaway before his commitment. The Wolverine reported he had interest from Boston College, Michigan State, Northwestern, Notre Dame, and some Ivy League schools. Dunaway expressed interest in exploring the Ivy League; he should be just fine academically.


I probably don't need to tell you much about Brother Rice, which won three straight state titles from 2011-2013 and has a long history of success, mostly under legendary former coach Al Fracassa. A trio of 2015 freshmen—Malzone, Perry, and Jack Dunaway—all come from the program.


Dunaway had one reception for nine yards in 2014.


None listed.


I mean, your guess is as good as mine here. Dunaway has the frame to be a solid in-line tight end who can handle the physical aspect of the position from an early juncture—he's already at 230 pounds with two full years of high school remaining. There's nothing to glean from his very limited on-field resumé except he wasn't such a precocious talent that he could jump a pair of trusty seniors, one of whom (Michael Fortin) landed a scholarship from Eastern Michigan.

It's still too early to even project the depth chart at tight end for 2017. Michigan will have a redshirt senior Khalid Hill, a redshirt junior Ian Bunting, and either a true junior or redshirt sophomore Tyrone Wheatley Jr. at the position, plus any 2016 tight end recruits that they bring in—Michigan will add at least one in this cycle. Here's an early guess at a redshirt for Dunaway, with any other projection not worth making based on the lack of available evidence.


Michigan will have a 2017 class, and Carter Dunaway will be in it.



April 20th, 2015 at 2:08 PM ^

Considering he only had one reception for 14 yards I'm curious why he didn't play on the JV squad instead. It seems that if a team is going to pull up a player to varsity he should be ready to see significant time. I'm wondering if he could have gotten more valuable playing experience down a level. I'm sure practicing with juniors and seniors on a daily basis was good for him though.


April 20th, 2015 at 3:14 PM ^

Yeah, I get that. I was just asking because he was a sophomore last year and could have been on the JV team but he was pulled up to varsity even though he didn't play much. They must have valued daily practices on varsity as being more beneficial than game experience at the JV level where he would have been a focus.


April 20th, 2015 at 4:56 PM ^

When I played high school football a while ago in Minnesota, by my senior year I was the 1st string JV fullback and like the 3rd or 4th string on Varsity.  Played a ton in JV games, and got in for special teams and blowouts for the Varsity games.  Dunaway probably had a similar deal, except he's achieved as a sophomore what  took me until I was a senior to do.

True Blue Grit

April 20th, 2015 at 2:08 PM ^

Carter is definitely bigger though.  He has great size for a TE with 2 years of H.S. still left.  Hopefully, he shows some good hands and solid speed this fall.  Welcome aboard Mr. Dunaway.


April 20th, 2015 at 2:16 PM ^


Michigan will have a 2017 class, and Carter Dunaway will be in it."


You have no idea how muc h that made me laugh, Ace. I needed that.

Avon Barksdale

April 20th, 2015 at 2:17 PM ^

We took an early commit from someone who has one high school catch in his career and zero offers. I guess I shouldn't be surprised: Harbaugh's first full Stanford class had a ton of 2 stars.

Avon Barksdale

April 20th, 2015 at 3:32 PM ^

Because Michigan sucks at football and has for a while. The lack of urgency on this board is startling. Everyone is OK with being irrelevant. I'm not. I want Michigan to win again. I want Michigan to be great. I want Michigan to win championships - not be happy that Harbaugh took a legacy with zero offers and hope that we can just get to 8-4 this season.

That is so Iowa-ish it's not even funny.

Avon Barksdale

April 20th, 2015 at 3:58 PM ^

But, does that mean we don't have the right to question if his moves are best to win a national championship? If so, why does this blog even exist? We all have opinions and like to voice our opinions. My opinion is simple: I'm not "trashing the kid.." I'm simply stating it IS MY OPINION that this was a bad offer at this stage in the game from Harbaugh. No harm, no foul, no big deal - just an opinion.

Mr Miggle

April 20th, 2015 at 4:16 PM ^

When you say silly things like "Everyone is OK with Michigan football being irrelevant. I'm not." you're doing nothing more than begging for negative comments. You're basically attacking everyone who doesn't join in your criticism.

Let's be honest. We can't have an informed opinion about how good a prospect this kid is. There's practically nothing for us to go on. Harbaugh and his staff do know more than his stats from last season. I, for one, am going to assume that he's seen something that made him offer so early. Most of the 2017 offers have been to very highly regarded prospects. You're welcome to disagree and claim it's only because his father played for Bo. However, we should both hope I'm the one who's right.



April 20th, 2015 at 5:33 PM ^

Yup Miggle, his assumption that everyone at MGoBlog is ok with mediocrity earned him three negs from me.

I think most everyone here is a bit apprehensive over this commit so early in the process but at this point Im not ready to question the judgement of a man who knows far more about football in general and this kid in particular than I do. Nobody here is on the practice field or in the locker room and pretending we have an understanding of what Harbaugh thinks he needs to win is ludicrous. Doubting Harbaughs drive and desire to be the best is beyond ludicrous.


April 20th, 2015 at 6:18 PM ^

But your opinion is basically that we are all blind to mediocrity and you won't stand for it. that might be a bit of hyperbole, but having an opinion that calls out the rest of the fan base and slags a new recruit isn't an opinion that most will share.

You are entitled to your opinion, just like I am that I think it is needlessly reactionary and weirdly spawned from a sophomore HS player joining the team.

Mich OC

April 20th, 2015 at 4:02 PM ^

What has happened to get us to the point where people think the "sense of urgency" of a message board has anything to do with how the team is performing?

This is borderline blaming fans for the team not being good the last few years. It's absurd

Avon Barksdale

April 20th, 2015 at 4:11 PM ^

It wasn't meant literally as in the board's lack of urgency is why Michigan football sucks right now. I do think the fan base has something to do with it - bitch about alternate jerseys, bitch about night games, bitch and moan about music in the stadium.

The university in general, the fans, the entire athletic department all needed overhaul. I think Harbaugh is the right guy to do it. I won't agree with every decision he makes just like this one, but I trust he'll make more right decisions than wrong decisions. In the end, will Michigan be elite again? Who knows --- we'll have to wait and see.

The Mad Hatter

April 20th, 2015 at 4:42 PM ^

I know.  And so do most of the other posters on this site.  Michigan has been an elite academic and football school for well over 100 years.  The last 7 years of walking in the football wilderness were an aberration, nothing more.

We've hired one of, if not the best, football coaches in the entire country.  He'll have things back to normal very soon.

Mich OC

April 20th, 2015 at 4:39 PM ^

Yeah I see what you are saying. I guess fan opinion played some part in getting Dave Brandon canned.

But I think in this case, and most cases, the fans' attitude is a symptom of poor performance, not a cause.


April 20th, 2015 at 2:49 PM ^

You are pretty new around here. That tradition goes back way further than last Thursday.

You were not around these parts when the 3-star mafia and the Ray Vinopal's legs are too short crew rose to prominence.


April 20th, 2015 at 2:59 PM ^

But I am also not a lemming.

This kid has literally one recorded catch. It's not close to the Austin Davis situation where the kid actually has more than a single stat. That said, this is just "bo fraternity" stuff. There probably is something to say for this shoring up the base approach but we will need to match talent at some point to beat osu. And from a chemistry standpoint it kind of flies I the face of "competition" meme our staff is preaching.


April 20th, 2015 at 3:44 PM ^

This isn't a 3* mafia situation where Harbaugh is taking a lower-rated kid late in the process.  This is a 2017 recruit - sure there are camps and preliminary rankings, but outside of the truly top kids most of these recruits are going to be getting their first sustained bit of playing time entering their junior years on good teams, so their recruiting rankings (as misleading and irrelevant as they sometimes can be) aren't remotely viable at this juncture either.  So that's when you trust a staff that turned Stanford into a perrenial top-10 outfit, took a moribund NFL team to 3 straight conference title games and 1 SB, and has displayed a consistent, keen eye for talent evaluation, knows what they might be getting in a younger player.

This crap about Harbaugh picking a kid because his dad played for Bo is silly and reductive.  Harbaugh doesn't strike me as the type of guy who gives a crap about keeping random alumni happy or preserving the "history" of Michigan.  Hell, he ran down UM when he was the coach at Stanford.  He seems like the exact opposite of a guy who would offer a valuable scholarship as a favor to some former player's kid.


April 20th, 2015 at 5:24 PM ^

For the few guys flipping out about this offer, Seth's recent Dear Diary is instructive.  I assume the kid's grown quickly in the last year, and is still learning how to move those legs.  

The guys losing their shit need to calm the hell down, however... if people are reasonably questioning this offer, I don't see the need to pile on a bunch of Harbaugh superlatives.  We know that and it's obvious.  If you look at the available evidence for this recruit, there are several items to legitimately discuss and question.  He's huge, no doubt.  From his camp film he looks like he has decent hands, but not a completely natural pass catcher.  Doesn't look like an outstanding athlete, slow feet, runs with his toes out.  He didn't play much last year as a sophmore, when frankly most elite recruits are starters for their HS team.  It's very early for 2017, no need to rush.  This staff has a clear pattern for 2016 recruits - fan out to the nationally elite guys, then move on from there.  

Of course the coaches know better than anyone on this board.  But that shouldn't end the discussion.  It should end the lost-my-shit-OMGRRR!!!'s, but anything should.  Michigan should want the absolute elite TE's in the country for 2017 - if they take 3, they should try to get the top 3 - and right now the available evidence doesn't suggest this kid is one of those.  The coaches see it and sure that's good enough for me.  What the hell do I know.  But that shouldn't stop a reasoned discussion. 


April 20th, 2015 at 6:29 PM ^

and I said pretty much the same a few days ago. I think it's ok to question the offer but not to lose your shit over it. This kid is, what, 16? No doubt he was given the legacy bump, too. I get that & I think that should concern people more than having zero film, etc. I think the complaint/worry should be one of Michigan being more concerned about pleasing ex-players by offering their kids than truly getting the best talent & winning. Yet, I don't think that can be argued with Carter given that he is so young but already what Harbaugh wants physically in a TE. However, the general debate is one that could be had alongside similar concerns like: recruiting a worse player b/c he has a 4.0 or has never been in trouble over a player that's clearly better but was suspended once, etc. I'll admit that I'm on the Larry Foote camp. I think Carr slowly but surely began to recruit more kids from "good families & backgrounds". I think RR went a bit too far the other way in that he'd take anyone at all. Why recruit Dorsey when you know UM (and everyone else) won't let him in? How could you not know Feagan was slanging coke before & during his time at UM? I could go on but I'll end with Hoke completely changing the types of kids he recruits when he gets the UM job. He was like late-Carr but extreme. He'd take a kid with a tough background here & there but he lived him some good ol' fashion American nuclear family kids lol. I just agree with Foote that many of those kids are soft. They tend to have options in life so when face to face with a kid that has that "success or starve" mentality who's gonna give up first? More often than not the latter kid will die on that field before before he lets fatigue allow him to give up. When a kid has "daddy's business" to fall back on, they'll take their college degree, give you full effort when they feel like it & hope for the best but happily become a 22yr old VP alongside daddy when lined up across someone better, with nothing to lose, everything to gain and/or flat out tired. That's life. So, I'll debate stuff like that! Yet, outside of Carter likely getting the legacy bump/offer so soon, I won't question Harbaugh taking a 16 year-old kid that is already as big as he is. It's not like the kid is a TE who's 6-1 & runs a 5.5 40. Carter could be pushing 6-7 250 when he steps on campus.


April 20th, 2015 at 10:58 PM ^

Harbaugh gets paid to deliver wins. That's his job. Recruit elite players and coach them to win. 

He has clearly identified this young man at that level. Ultimately, it's his responsibility to perform and he's putting his credibility as TE guru etc. on the line here.

I hope he's correct in this call. No guarantees, I suppose (see Sills, David)

Avon Barksdale

April 20th, 2015 at 3:27 PM ^

Because I haven't complained for the last fifteen years while I've watched us lose to Appalachian State, Toledo, and to Ohio State 13 times in that timeframe. It's very simple: you win championships by having good football players. No one can honestly say this kid is worthy of a coveted football scholarship at the University of Michigan at this point because, let's be honest, he's never even played in a high school football game.

Am I saying he won't be good or worthy of an offer in six months? No, I'm not. I'm saying if the Akrons, Furman's, and Western Michigan's of the world weren't beating his door down, why did we - other than the fact his father played for Bo 30 year ago?


April 20th, 2015 at 3:35 PM ^

It's actually not that simple. Harbaugh won a lot at Stanford with worse talent than the teams he was beating and we've lost to LOTS of teams less talented than us the last few years.

We will be a talented team, no doubt. Harbaugh has been chasing a lot of very highly rated kids, so if he goes after one not so highly rated, he probably sees something others don't yet.