Natick High head football coach Mark Mortarelli confirmed to ESPNBoston.com tonight that star wide receiver Brian Dunlap is out for the season, after suffering a Lisfranc fracture on his left foot earlier this preseason.
Dunlap, a 6-foot junior and returning ESPN Boston All-State selection, suffered the injury in the Redhawks' first scrimmage of the preseason, against Holliston. After seeing multiple specialists, it was determined he will need season-ending surgery, at date unspecified at this time.
"Obviously he's very pissed off about it, but he's such a great kid," Mortarelli said. "He'll work with the receivers when he can. He's a great kid, he'll rehab the way he's supposed to."
Already off to a remarkable start to his varsity career, the 6-foot Dunlap led the state in receiving, with 86 catches for 1,570 yards and 21 touchdowns, as the Redhawks won the Bay State Herget title and advanced to the MIAA Division 2A Super Bowl. He also had 34 carries for 301 yards and another score on the season. In his first two years of varsity, Dunlap already has record-pace receiving totals: 155 catches, 2,742 yards, 35 touchdowns.
A number of Division 1 FBS and FCS programs have begun to show interest in Dunlap, including Boston College, UMass, Holy Cross, Harvard and Yale.
"As a team, we must go on," Mortarelli. "We feel awful about Brian, he couldn't be a better kid or a more hard-working kid, a straight-A student. I've heard some [media outlets] call him a once-in-a-generation kid, and that's absolutely what he is. Next year, it will be the Brian Dunlap show. We'll get him the ball every play if we can."