Dunlap hopes to fill a void

Published 6:47 pm Tuesday, October 30, 2018

With Troy cornerback Marcus Jones unable to play on Saturday, head coach Neal Brown and the Trojans will rely on his replacements to help fill the void.

Jones injured his clavicle in Troy’s win over South Alabama last Tuesday. The injury occurred early in the second half and the Trojans relied on Terence Dunlap, Blace Brown and Orlando Lacy the rest of the way. With Jones out this week and possibly longer, those players will be looked at to fill that void once again.

“It creates opportunities for the next guy,” said head coach Neal Brown. “Terence Dunlap, Blace Brown – those are guys that have to step up. We need some other guys, maybe Orlando Lacy, a Jawon McDowell, those guys have to step up and raise their level of play.”

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Dunlap proved he was capable of filling that void in the second half against the Jaguars when he sealed the win with a interception that he returned 88 yards to set the Trojans up for their final score of the game.

“He had a huge pick there at the end of the game to kind of seal the win,” Brown said. “He is a guy that has to step up. I think athletically, he is as talented as anybody we have on our roster. He works hard. He is new to the position. He is definitely learning.”

Dunlap has a good reason to still be learning as he is new to the position. Dunlap came to Troy after playing running back at Maplesville. It was a transition he was made aware of during his first meeting with the Trojans.

“Coach (Kenny) Edenfield had recruited me to play offense,” Dunlap said. “When I first got here, he sat me at the table with the corners. I thought, ‘What’s going on?’ At the time, I was questioning it, but now I’m playing a big role for the defense.”

This is Dunlap’s second season playing the position. He has played in all eight games this season. He has a total of 24 tackles and one interception.

“I’m way more comfortable than I was last year,” Dunlap said. “Last year, I was nervous when I went out on the field. I had never played the position. I was scared I’d get beat and scared of messing up. Now, I just go out there and play. If I mess up, I mess up. Coach (Al) Pogue says if you get beat, so what? Cover the territory. Next play mentality.”

There is still room for improvement for the sophomore, including technique.

“I could get a lot better,” Dunlap said. “It’s probably technique-wise; I need to improve a lot on technique. I depend a lot on my athleticism while I learn all the technique I need to learn. I just need to improve on my fundamentals and all, my knowledge of the game. Just learn the game more from a defensive back perspective rather than when I was on offense in high school.

Coach Brown believes has the potential to get better with each passing snap.

“Athletically, he can do it,” Brown said. “He is talented and can be as good as any corner in our league. I think the more reps he has, the better he is going to get. It’s time for him to step up. The team needs him and he is more than capable.”