Last fall, cornerback recruit Dashon Hunt of Thousand Oaks (Calif.) Westlake High School had a breakout year on the gridiron registering 1,274 yards rushing and 18 touchdowns as a running back on only 131 carries. On the defensive side of the ball, the 5'9, 175-pound four-star prospect had a stellar campaign as a defender as Hunt collected 63 total tackles and picked off six passes.
Though Hunt plays on both sides of the ball, he is primarily being recruited as a cornerback by the programs courting his services. Hunt is diminutive in size as he appears a bit shorter than his listed height of 5'9. He does, however, carry a relatively stocky build for a cornerback. Short, with a relatively wide hip base and thick lower half, Hunt's frame appears to be nearly filled out for a kid having just completed his junior year in high school. However, with some time spent in a collegiate weight program it's very likely that Hunt's functional strength will increase.
Hunt is most effective in off-man or zone coverage at this stage in his development. He is an asset on base downs despite his size, as he is very willing to come up and lay hits in support of the run. Against the pass, playing off-coverage gives him the opportunity to peek into the offensive backfield and read the quarterback's drop. Hunt does have the ability to turn and run, and can track the football when it's in the air. That said, he is most effective playing within coverage concepts that allow him to backpedal into his zone, pattern read, and attack the football.
Hunt possesses excellent ball skills. A very good "plant and drive" defender, Hunt is very sudden in breaking on the ball once he has sniffed out a route. He is also a great leaper. That, combined with his soft hands allows him to come up with highlight reel interceptions at times. And though he likely doesn't project to consistently hold up on an island against taller receivers due to his size, Hunt will compete throughout the route and is always a threat to create a turnover due to his play-making ability.
Dashon Hunt 2011 Highlight Final.mov (via 7BishopsProduction)