Offensive line commit Dunning is heavy on upside

By Chris Williams, PublisherFollow Chris on Twitter @ChrisMWilliams

Jacob Dunning has only played two seasons of organized football in his life.

During the present day, that might be a negative. From an upside perspective, it’s a major positive.

Iowa State’s coaching staff apparently thinks that the 6-foot-5, 265-pound offensive tackle out of Leander, Texas has plenty of size and talent to develop into a Big 12 lineman.

During the only official visit that he took during the recruiting process, Dunning committed to Iowa State on his trip to Ames over the weekend.

"Playing in the Big 12 is something that I really want to do," Dunning told on Sunday afternoon. "That alone is pretty intriguing for anybody."

Dunning chose Iowa State offer offers from Wyoming, North Texas and Texas State.

Dunning said that his primary recruiter, offensive line coach Bill Bleil, projects him as a tackle at the next level.

"That’s the only position that I’ve played and I love it," said Dunning. "He (Bleil) told me that when you come in and play college football that the game speeds up. I have a frame that we can put weight on. He said that he saw the speed in me and I’m somebody who can come up and gradually fit into it and make an easy transition into it."

This decision was an easy one for the Texan to make. Besides the fact that Iowa State was his only high-major offer, Dunning hit it off with current Cyclones during his visit. Most importantly, he was impressed by the way that the Cyclone coaching staff has proven that it can develop offensive linemen over the last two seasons. Dunning noticed how a handful of young Cyclone linemen stepped in when needed during the 2011 regular season.

"I realize that there are young guys on the team. They’ve stepped up," said Dunning. "With what they are doing right now and how they have overcome injuries was a big plus in my eyes."

Dunning doesn’t play basketball or wrestle, but he is into the sport of baseball. Dunning said that he’s now faced with the decision if he wants to play baseball this winter or mainly focus in weight lifting for his summer arrival to Iowa State. At 6-foot-5, 265 pounds, the frame is there for Yancy McKnight to add strength immediately.

"He (McKnight) said to not think that I have to be like a 300-pound guy or anything," Dunning said.

Dunning joins Oklahoma prospect Daniel Burton as Iowa State’s second known offensive line commitment of the 2012 recruiting class.