Michigan Target Film Study: Tavierre Dunlap

Eric Rutter

In the 2021 class, Michigan has extended offers to nearly 20 running backs, and Del Valle (Texas) High three-star prospect Tavierre Dunlap picked up his U-M scholarship in early May.

Last season, Dunlap accrued over 1,500 rushing yards and 23 total touchdowns in what was a thoroughly productive year for the Cardinals running back. As a result, Dunlap picked up well over 30 offers, and Notre Dame is one of his most recent scholarships.

With ample options on the table, Dunlap is a big fan of the academic advantages that go along with a Michigan degree, and the rising 2021 recruit is hoping to visit Ann Arbor once the quarantine subsides.

When that time comes, look for Dunlap to visit with another highly coveted prospect in his teammate and four-star wide receiver Caleb Burton. Recently, Burton has participated in video calls with the Michigan coaching staff, so the Wolverines are pushing for both players.

On tape, Dunlap shows a lot of strong qualities that should translate to the collegiate level. Dunlap has quick feet and is shifty in the backfield. He breaks off a lot of long runs and has the speed to pull away in the open field, which partly explains his 23 touchdown performance from a year ago.

Standing at 6-0 and 196 pounds, Dunlap is a bit slight of build and could be well served to add 10 to 15 more pounds before entering college while still maintaining the breakaway speed he has right now.

However, Dunlap does use his size and power to his advantage and bowls over several defenders on his highlight tape. Dunlap keeps his pad level low, which is a stark benefit on north-south running plays.

Shortly after Dunlap picked up his Michigan offer, Wolverine Digest spoke with Del Valle head coach Charles Burton about what the highly touted prospect brings to the table.

“He is a complete back,” Burton said. “Still has room for improvement in all areas, but the speed he has with his size is special. Great vision and settle movements are great added dimensions to his game.

“Pass blocking needs to get better, but his hands have improved every year, and I expect he can be a weapon in the passing game as well,” Burton said. “Pass protection needs work,” Dunlap said. “He hasn’t been asked to do it as much with us. He can, just will need more reps.”

According to Rivals, Dunlap is listed as the No. 24 player at his position. At the moment, there are no crystal ball predictions in for the 2021 running back, so his official visit schedule will tell a lot about where he is leaning.

Right now, Michigan is looking to take two running backs, one of which may be West Bloomfield (Mich.) High four-star Donovan Edwards. Dunlap is actually quite similar to Edwards from a running perspective, but Edwards is a much more polished and accomplished receiver, which adds another element to his game that is valuable at the next level.

How many running backs do you want Michigan to take in the 2021 class? If U-M lands Edwards, should the Wolverines focus on a stronger, more powerful running back or a speedy prospect such as Dunlap? Let us know! 

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