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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Dunning to play linebacker this season

Texas+A%26amp%3BM+head+coach+Kevin+Sumlin+announced+Friday+that+redshirt+sophomore+Justin+Dunning+will+play+linebacker+this+season.
Photo by By Alex Miller

Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin announced Friday that redshirt sophomore Justin Dunning will play linebacker this season.

Texas A&M kicked off fall camp Friday evening at the Coolidge Practice Fields and the Aggies’ head coach Kevin Sumlin unveiled some anticipated news.
Redshirt sophomore Justin Dunning will play linebacker this season.
 Originally a safety, Dunning is now listed at 6-4, 240. His addition to the linebacker corps gives added depth to the second level of the A&M defense.
A year ago in fall camp, Dunning suffered a season-ending knee injury during a special teams drill, tearing his ACL for the third time in his football career.
“You saw me get emotional about the deal,” Sumlin said. “It’s a deal where there’s not a better kid and for the ones that happen when nobody touches you you’re just like my goodness, and every time he’s battled back, something’s happened.”
Sumlin was uncertain if Dunning would play again, but made it clear that there was no pressure on the decision he made.
“I brought him in and told him I don’t blame you one bit if you didn’t want to play football. You’ll still have a scholarship to Texas A&M, you’re an Aggie,” Sumlin added. “I said you get your surgery, don’t worry about it, you make the decision [to play or not] yourself and don’t feel like this program or me as a coach is going to feel any less about you as a man.”
Following his surgery, Dunning continued to rehab and eventually made a decision: He was going to continue to play football.
“He took some time, started hanging around and said coach I want to try [to play] again,” Sumlin said.
Dunning’s action was limited in the spring to not risk further injury, as Sumlin wanted Dunning to have the chance to suit up in the fall.
“We were really careful in the spring. He probably could have practiced a little bit more, but if something else was going to happen, it wasn’t going to happen this spring,” Sumlin said. “He could’ve done some things the last two weeks of spring. I just didn’t want if something happen it to happen then. If it happens during the season, give him the best opportunity to play football and to help us.”

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