Now standing 260 pounds, the McEachern offensive tackle will enter his senior season as one of the Indians’ most fierce lineman — and with a committed college future at giving his verbal promise to Maryland on Friday.
When he suits up for the Terrapins in 2013, Dulaney will have a shot at being a four-year starter, and he could reunite with former McEachern teammate Amba Etta-Tawo, a receiver who will be at College Park this fall.
Etta-Tawo’s looking forward to the reunion.
“Shout out to lil man jajuan joinin the fam,” he tweeted Friday.
Dulaney chose Maryland over Cincinnati, East Carolina, Florida International, Marshall, South Alabama and Troy.
“It’s great knowing that I’ve committed somewhere where I see myself contributing in the next few years,” he said. “Maryland is a school known for its quality education, in case my dream of being a professional athlete doesn’t come true. They’re saying that I can come in here and compete, and compete to either become a four-year starter or a three-year starter, depending how hard I work.”
Although it won’t be for another year, Dulaney is expected to contribute to an Maryland offensive line that’s currently coming off a dismal 2-10 record in 2011, which ended with an eight-game losing streak. The Terrapins allowed a 27-point third-quarter lead slip away in their final game against North Carolina State.
Dulaney said he needs to bulk up over the next year to get ready for the next step, but his long arms give him a 7-foot wing span that enables him to be an efficient pass-blocker.
However, one scouting reports says his size is more destined for him to be an offensive guard if he’s going to play on Bowl Championship Subdivision level, where he would help open holes for running backs.
Only time will tell at what position Dulaney ends up, but for now, he will continue to star at offensive tackle. He’s clocked in at 5.5 seconds in the 40-yard dash, and his athleticism and aggressiveness on the line has brought him to this point.
“He’s worked himself to a great ballplayer,” McEachern coach Kyle Hockman said. “He plays hard and loves to run down field and knock people down. He’s a good pass protector and a good fooler.”
After helping McEachern to a 10-2 record and a second-round showing in the Class AAAAA state tournament in 2011, Dulaney will return to his post this fall as a left tackle on a veteran offensive line. He’s expected to protect the blind sides of quarterback candidates Ty Clemons, Ty Griffin and Chase Jones.
Dulaney and his line will also be working with relatively new running backs and receivers, but they have the experience. The Indians averaged 38.4 points last season behind Dulaney, the offensive line and quarterback Trey Thompson, who was second in Cobb County with 2,443 passing yards and 27 touchdown passes.
“The challenge is, No. 1, stepping up and becoming a leader and replacing the other leaders in 2012,” Dulaney said. “This year, it will be up to me and the four offensive linemen we have coming back. It will be on us to keep the team together and lead the team to where we want to go, and that’s a state championship.”