Dunbar has two dream schools

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Dunbar has two dream schools

Most recruits have a dream school. Ruben Dunbar has two of them.

Dunbar, Glenbard West's 6-foot-3, 255-pound defensive end, hopes to hear from Ohio State and Michigan. Up to now, he has a dozen offers, including Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan State and Minnesota. But Ohio State and Michigan aren't among them.

He likes Ohio State because former Buckeye quarterback Terrelle Pryor was one of his favorite players.

He likes Michigan because he once attended a game at Michigan Stadium and came away awed by the experience.

"I hope they will see my film and offer me," Dunbar said. "I want to make a lot of visits. I'm not sure what to do. I don't care about tradition. I'm looking for a college with a close campus, not too big, with good people, a family-based team with good coaches."

"Once schools see him on film, more will offer," Glenbard West coach Chad Hetlet said. "They like his athleticism, his speed and long arms, the way he shuns blocks."

Dunbar hopes college recruiters will closely scrutinize last year's Hinsdale Central film. "I laid someone out. They're recruiting me as a defensive end. It doesn't matter what defense they play (3-4 or 4-3 or 5-2), just as long as I play," he said.

A year ago, Dunbar played "the other end" on Glenbard West's defense--Robin to Tommy Schutt's Batman. Schutt was one of the state's top-rated players. After originally committing to Penn State, he changed his mind and opted for Ohio State.

Dunbar benefited from Schutt's presence. While recruiters watched Schutt on film, they gradually took notice of Dunbar. Opponents double-teamed Schutt, allowing Dunbar to make plays. And when opponents ran away from Schutt, Dunbar was waiting.

"He motivated me a lot," Dunbar said. "He was the leader on the team. He was on the team for three years, someone I could trust on the defensive line, someone who could make a play. I'm working hard because I want to be better than him. I watched film and saw how he took on double teams. I want to be better than that even though he was bigger than me."

Dunbar admires Schutt so much that he plans to ask Hetlet to wear jersey number 10, Schutt's old number, for the 2012 season. "I want to wear it. All defensive line leaders at Glenbard West have worn number 10," said Dunbar, who wore number 99 last season.

"I've always felt I was good enough. I always was competitive. I never put myself under anyone else. I'm very competitive. I don't like losing.

What really gets me mad is people who don't try their hardest. I'm one of the leaders on this team. It's my last season. I'm trying to make my teammates work harder than I am working."

He has one goal for the 2012 season--to win a state championship. The last few seasons have been very frustrating for Glenbard West, especially last year's 10-3 loss to Lake Zurich that snapped a 10-game unbeaten string in the second round of the Class 7A playoff.

"We felt we should have won the game," he said.

Curiously, Dunbar describes himself as a football player who likes to play basketball. He started dribbling a ball when he was 6 years old. It was fun and he and his father went one-on-one in the alley. Then he started to play football in sixth grade and joined the Golden Eagles youth team. All of a sudden, football became a priority in his life.

"I was an offensive tackle as a freshman. Then I was moved to defensive line in the middle of my freshman year and moved up to the sophomore team," he said. "I though offensive line was kind of boring, not fun at all. I liked hitting. I like to make tackles, not block."

He still plays basketball with the Bulldogs' AAU team to stay in shape in the off-season, but he works out every morning in the school's weight room. He has added 20 pounds of muscle since last fall.

"I'm working on getting off the ball more quickly. I feel stronger and just as fast as I was when I weighed 235 pounds," he said. "I just want to play my game. What is my game? Get off the ball and get to the quarterback or running back or get to the ball."

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Yoan Moncada's first White Sox game had same 'special' feeling as MLB debut

Yoan Moncada's first White Sox game had same 'special' feeling as MLB debut

First came the roar from the home crowd. Then a bunch of fans in the first deck beyond third base stood to watch Yoan Moncada. The patient approach surfaced next.

Moncada made his White Sox debut on Wednesday night and although it didn’t feature any highlight reel moments, there were plenty of good signs. Moncada drew a walk in his first plate appearance and also lined out hard to center field in his last. The rookie second baseman went 0-for-2 as the White Sox lost 9-1 to the Los Angeles Dodgers at Guaranteed Rate Field.

“It was fun to watch him come in,” pitcher Carlos Rodon said. “I saw him in Triple-A for a while, he’s a great talent. It’s good to have some good defense. That first at-bat was obviously really good. Fought it back to 3-2, got that walk. Two good swings.”

“It was cool. It got very loud when he came up to the plate, as we expected. That was fun to watch.”

The hype and energy surrounding the arrival of baseball’s top prospect was easy to detect.

The amount of media members on hand to document Moncada’s first game was akin to an Opening Day crowd. Every camera was aimed on Moncada, who flew in from Rochester, N.Y. earlier in the day to join the White Sox.

News of Moncada’s promotion at 11 p.m. Tuesday boosted the announced crowd of 24,907 by 5,000 fans, according to the team. Fans arrived early, some in Moncada White Sox No. 10 jerseys direct from China, while others brought Twinkies, the second baseman’s favorite snack food. Moncada spotted some of those bearing the sugary snacks when he stepped out of the home dugout and onto the field about 45 minutes before first pitch. Moncada, a former teammate of Jose Abreu’s in Cuba, received a loud ovation as he started to stretch.

“I was excited with the way the fans treated me and how they were cheering me,” Moncada said through an interpreter. “I was really happy in that at-bat and excited because all that atmosphere and the excitement in the ballpark.”

The rumble was even louder when Moncada stepped in for his first Major League plate appearance since he played for the Boston Red Sox last September. Though he quickly fell behind in the count 0-2 against Dodgers starter Kenta Maeda, Moncada never wavered. He took several closes pitches, fouled off two more, and drew a nine-pitch walk.

“He had some nice at-bats,” manager Rick Renteria said. “Obviously worked a walk. Hit two balls well. He looked very comfortable. Turned a nice double play. I think he didn’t look overwhelmed. I think he ended his first day here with us as well as you could have it be. I know he didn’t get any hits but I thought he had some pretty good at-bats.”

Moncada’s second trip resulted in a groundout to first base. He fell behind 0-2 once again before working the count even. Moncada then ripped an 88-mph from Maeda down the right-field line only to have it go foul by several feet before grounding out on the next pitch.

Moncada got ahead 2-0 in the count in his final plate appearance as he faced reliever Ross Strippling. He produced an easy, fluid swing on the 2-0 pitch and ripped a 93-mph fastball for a line drive but it found the glove of center fielder Joc Pederson. The ball exited Moncada’s bat at 102.5 mph, which normally results in a hit 62.5 percent of the time, according to baseballsavant.com.

“I felt good,” Moncada said. “I think that I executed my plan. I didn't get any hits but I hit the ball hard and I executed my plan.”

“I made my debut last year but this one was special, it had kind of the same feeling for me.”