Coach Pete Lembo's 2015 recruiting class continues to grow, with Friday's news that two-way player Malik Dunner has made a verbal commitment to join the Cardinals.
Lembo's nabbed a very versatile prospect in Dunner. At 5-foot-11 188 pounds, Dunner plays both running back and free safety for Dundee-Crown High School Chargers in Carpentersville, Illinois. Actually, scrap that, he does a little bit of everything.
Dunner found himself in a unique position last season. Transferring from Elgin High School, winners of just one game his sophomore year, he was asked to concentrate on defense. His explosiveness on offense and special teams however, proved to be just the shot in the arm the Chargers needed. Dunner carried the ball 16 times for 230 yards and 4 touchdowns in 2013. He's also impressed as a punt returner. It's been said he will occupy a role as a slot receiver with the Cardinals.
Dunner's coach with the Chargers, Vito Andriola, saw the potential for him to compete on the Division 1 level.
"He wants to learn and he's fast," Andriola told McHenry County Sports in October. "He's getting coached hard. He's a good student. When college coaches ask, ‘Can you coach him hard?' Well, you can."
The newest coach of the Chargers however is Mike Steinhaus, promoted from offensive coordinator in April. Steinhaus is a former scholarship football player at Ball State.
"I really don't play a very big role in his decision process," Steinhaus told McHenry County Sports. "Malik is a very special athlete. He has made teams start to game plan specifically for him and make sure they know where he is on the field at all times. I want all of my players to make the best decisions for them to have the best chance to succeed."
Dunner also received an offer from three-time defending FCS champion North Dakota State.