MAPLESVILLE, Ala. (WIAT) — 2016 was another year that felt like deja vu for Terence Dunlap.
Maplesville’s season ended in the state championship game for the fourth straight season. For the third straight year, the Red Devils took home the 1A state title. After another standout performance of three touchdowns and an interception against Pickens County, Dunlap took home his third straight title game MVP award.
“It was an honor,” Dunlap said of his accomplishment. “I thank the Lord everyday I wake up for blessing me just to be able to wake up and for my ability to go out there on the field and do what I do.”
Even though he was at a 1A school, Dunlap’s talent transcended his classification for his top three colleges: Troy, Tulane, and Rutgers. He’s visited all three schools, Rutgers and Tulane, officially, and will be using the final weekend before Signing Day to take an official visit to Troy.
“I guess those colleges happened to see my ability,” Dunlap said. “Rutgers, I just visited there this last weekend. It was a great school, Big Ten up in New Jersey. Great people, great vibe up there. Troy, closer to home, great school. They were in the top 25 this last year. Rebuilding the wall, like the slogan says. Tulane, great school, not that far away from home. Great business program down in New Orleans, down there with great people.”
“Obviously a kid like that has not been out of down home central Alabama a whole lot,” Maplesville head coach Brent Hubbert said of his start running back. “It gives him an opportunity to travel. He got to go on official visits to Rutgers and also Tulane and now he’s going to visit Troy, so he’s gotten to see a little bit of everything, so he’ll have to sit down and decide what’s best for him.”
Hubbert has been coaching Dunlap in some capacity since 7th grade, but once Dunlap joined the varsity ranks, he stood out to the staff at Maplesville.
“As a freshman, we knew he had talent, athletic talent,” Hubbert said. “As a sophomore and junior, the leadership things and his hard work and perseverance, just deciding, ‘There’s something I want to do and I’m going to work hard for it’ and that started coming to the front.
“Every one of our kids works extremely hard. Terence worked extremely hard with extreme talent, so it multiplied.”
“Coach Hubbert, he pushed me everyday and like all the rest of our coaches, they pushed me everyday to try to be the best I can be,” Dunlap said. “It means a lot to me just to know that I had one of the best coaches in the state, in the nation, in the world just pushing me every day, to be there for me anything to do, not only just football, school, anything I’ve got going on outside of school, for him just to be there for me as a person, that means a lot to me.”
Dunlap will make his final decision on Signing Day, and while he will be happy the journey is over, the decision may be the most difficult part.
“It’s going to be hard to tell two of those schools no after all they’ve done for me.”