Not all of the big additions/signings for Texas football on the first day of the Early Signing Period came by way of the high school and JUCO ranks.
A really nice addition for the Texas football program arrived on the first day of the Early Signing Period, on Dec. 16, not necessarily by way of a high school or JUCO prospect. Fourth-year Texas head coach Tom Herman and first-year defensive coordinator/safeties coach Chris Ash flipped a commitment out of the NCAA Transfer Portal from the former McNeese State Cowboys cornerback Darion Dunn.
Herman and the Longhorns flipped the commitment of the graduate transfer cornerback Dunn from head coach Dave Doeren and the NC State Wolfpack. This is a huge depth boost to the defensive backfield for Texas, given the amount of losses they could undergo heading into next offseason.
Dunn announced that he would be flipping his commitment from NC State to Texas on his Twitter timeline on the morning of Dec. 16.
This is the first haul out of the transfer portal for the Longhorns since last offseason. They landed the likes of three skill position transfers out of the portal last offseason; one running back and two wide receivers. The highlights of their portal haul from earlier in the year were wide receivers Brenden Schooler and Tarik Black.
Moreover, Dunn will help replace some of the depth that is about to be gone in the secondary from multiple sources on the Forty Acres. Texas lost their highly coveted former four-star cornerback recruit and sophomore Kenyatta Watson II to the transfer portal, before he ultimately took his talents back to his home state and joined the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets.
Dunn is a two-time All-Southland Conference Team selection. Back in 2018, he received his first All-SLC nod, getting Second Team honors to round out his sophomore campaign. And then he registered his first All-SLC First Team honors in 2019.
Moreover, Dunn had high expectations entering the 2020 season, but McNeese State delayed their football campaign until the spring semester in the midst of the novel coronavirus pandemic. Dunn was a 2020 Preseason HERO Third Team All-American selection.
The fit with cornerbacks coach Jay Valai and Ash’s defensive scheme should be natural for Dunn. He’s a lengthy and athletic 6-foot-1 and 195 pound corner that brings plenty of proven experience to the table. The Oakdale, LA, native registered 42 combined tackles last season to go along with one forced fumble, a whopping five interceptions, and 11 pass breakups.
For his three years playing for McNeese State, Dunn registered 83 combined tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, one sack, one forced fumble, seven interceptions, and 20 pass breakups. He was a real force to be reckoned with for his sophomore and junior seasons with McNeese.
Dunn should be able to come in for the Longhorns and compete with the likes of redshirt junior cornerback Josh Thompson, and junior D’Shawn Jamison for reps in the secondary. Junior cornerback Jalen Green will also be a name to watch at the position heading into next season.
Since Texas is also set to lose the likes of junior standout safety Caden Sterns and senior safety Chris Brown to the NFL Draft, bringing in more depth in the defensive backfield is key. They had a decent haul in the secondary among high school commits in the 2021 class too.