It’s no secret in the recruiting world that USC running backs coach Montario Hardesty covets Daniel Hill of Meridian, MS for the 2024 recruiting class. Hardesty has recruited Hill as much as anyone and has the Gamecocks in the final three along with Tennessee and Alabama. It’s certainly not a lock that Hardesty will land Hill, thus he has to keep his recruiting options open.
One possibility for an offer from him is Traevon Dunbar (5-9 175) of Midland Valley. The Shrine Bowl selection said he got a call from Hardesty Tuesday night.
“He was basically just chopping it up and talking about how I look pretty good coming back from my injury from last season to this season,” Dunbar said. “He said I’m looking like I’m back to normal and actually looking better than what I did before the injury.”
Dunbar suffered a knee injury midway through his junior season and was limited to 587 yards and six touchdowns. The previous season for Silver Bluff he rushed for 1909 yards and 28 touchdowns. And fully healthy this season, Dunbar is once again piling up the yards with 1876 yards and 24 touchdowns. He is averaging nearly 12 yards per carry.
Dunbar was happy to be contacted by Hardesty, and he appreciated the coach’s honesty in laying out the situation to him.
“He was telling me there’s another kid ahead of me, I think he’s from Mississippi,” Dunbar said. “I think they’re waiting to see if he commits or not. I don’t know, I guess they are just waiting on the Mississippi kid to see what he does, and I guess they’ll start talking to me. South Carolina has always been a dream school but there’s only so much time you can wait on somebody. I really can’t answer that because I don’t even know until I’m in the moment.”
If the Gamecocks do offer, they’ll have to catch Virginia Tech. The Hokies stand as Dunbar’s current favorite since they have offered, and he visited there for the Wake Forest game two weekends ago.
“I’ve really meshed with everybody on their coaching staff,” Dunbar said. “I like (RB) coach (Elijah) Brooks. I got a chance to actually talk to him. I know he was at Maryland when I was offered by them, and then he transferred to Virginia Tech. I already knew some of the people on the coaching staff. I got the chance to talk to (head) coach (Brent) Pry again. He talked about how I’ve come a long way from my injuries, and he’s proud of me and how I came off the injury.”
Along with the Hokies, Dunbar said Appalachian State is strong with him. He also holds reported offers from Arkansas, Ole Miss, Louisville, Maryland, Old Dominion, Tennessee Tech, Georgia State, Liberty, Michigan State, Penn State and Eastern Kentucky. Though he has a favorite in the Hokies, Dunbar said he won’t rush a decision because he wants to see who else might come forward with an offer once they see his updated film.
“Waiting to see how other things play out because there are other schools that might jump in, but I’m not really sure yet,” Dunbar said. “I think they might just wait until I put out my senior tape, which is starting to look good. We’ve got one last regular season game against our rival team, and I feel like that game is definitely going to be one of my best games along with South Aiken. I feel like I’ll just wait until the North Augusta game to drop my regular season highlights, and then I’m pretty sure some other schools might jump.”