Football Preview - Running Back Lance Dunbar

Lance Dunbar

Height: 5-9

Class: Sophomore

Signed: In 2008 from Haltom High School

2008 Key Stat: 4.6. As in, 4.6 yards per carry for the scat back in his injury shortened freshman campaign. As the speedy change-of-pace portion of NT’s two-pronged rushing attack, Dunbar ranked second on the squad with 178 rushing yards on just 39 attempts. He also showed his hands out of the backfield with 12 catches for 51 yards and a touchdown. The New Orleans native went down with a knee injury five games into the season, and will look to come back with a vengeance as a sophomore.

Why he will start: Dunbar showed shifty elusiveness and limitless potential in those five games last year, starting two of them. He could see the starting lineup in the right offensive package/defensive matchup, or if there is an injury to the stable of Mean Green running backs in ’09.  

Why he won’t start: Two words – Cam Montgomery. The Mean Green offense rarely (if ever) takes the field with two backs, and Montgomery has entrenched himself as NT’s go-to guy with a solid ’08 season and stellar offseason. The bruiser (6-1, 210 lbs) broke loose for 928 yards and nine touchdowns on 5.5 yards per carry, but was snubbed from the Preseason All-Sun Belt squad.

Dont' forget: Versatility is Dunbar’s friend. He’s a double threat out of the backfield with his blazing speed and soft hands, but was also a menace on special teams. Dunbar returned four kickoffs for 51 yards before the injury, showing a little bit of what the Haltom High School track coaches saw in the sprinter over the years.

Overall: If Dunbar returns to Fouts Field healthy in ‘09 he could be the game-changing weapon that North Texas missed in SBC play last season. Montgomery will be the workhorse, but look for Dunbar to keep defenses on their heels with pure speed and shiftiness. He can run, he can catch and he can return kicks with the best of them. Improved offensive line play will also translate to more second-level runs for the speedster. Keep your eyes peeled for a trick play or two, and few long runs for Dunbar this season.  




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