Ferriday High School sophomore left tackle/defensive end Delandrius Dunbar participates in lineman drills Wednesday on the school’s practice field. Dunbar maintains a 3.5 grade-point average. (Justin Sellers \ The Natchez Democrat)
Ferriday High School sophomore left tackle/defensive end Delandrius Dunbar participates in lineman drills Wednesday on the school’s practice field. Dunbar maintains a 3.5 grade-point average. (Justin Sellers \ The Natchez Democrat)

Scholar athlete: Ferriday two-way lineman a master at memorization

Published 12:04am Thursday, October 24, 2013

FERRIDAY — Delandrius Dunbar may only be a sophomore, but he’s been thrust into one of the most important positions on the field.

Dunbar plays left tackle for Ferriday High School, a position where, if he makes a mistake, the opposing player has an easy shot at dropping the quarterback for a loss.

“There’s pressure,” Dunbar said about playing left tackle. “On plays coming to my side, I have to make sure I get the blocking right.”

That’s no small task for any lineman, but Dunbar has good memorization skills, he said. In addition to using those skills to memorize blocking schemes, he’s also put them to use in the classroom — which is why he currently boasts a 3.5 grade-point average.

“I take good notes and take time to study every night and make sure I memorize the material,” said Dunbar, who has yet to take the ACT. “I memorize a lot by taking notes, so I’d say I only study about an hour a night. I just have good memory of the material, I guess.”

Trojans head coach Cleothis Cummings said Dunbar is a player he can rely on to do the right thing, both on the field and in the classroom.

“He gets a lot of stuff done,” Cummings said. “Being a kid with an academic background, it helps having him. He still has a lot of growing to do, but eventually he’s going to be someone who makes a lot of good decisions on the offensive and defensive lines.”

Dunbar plays defensive end when he’s on that side of the ball, and he said there are advantages to being a two-way lineman.

“It’s helpful,” Dunbar said. “When I go from being the person blocking to being blocked, I know how to get around what they’re doing.”

With football being his only extra-curricular activity, Dunbar said he doesn’t have much trouble balancing his time between schoolwork and sports.

“I just go home and study,” he said. “It doesn’t get too overwhelming.”

Dunbar mentioned his aunt, Darylane Cain, as someone who helps push him to do well in the classroom.

“She tells me to keep my grades up and make sure I study,” he said. “She stays on top of me.”

Cummings also credited Dunbar’s parents, Donetra Cain and Percy Dunbar, as positive influences in his life.

“He has a good support system that pushes academic excellence,” Cummings said. “One thing I appreciate about him is, even though it’s rare to see him in study hall, if he has to come, he’ll take the initiative.”

When it comes to his future, Dunbar said he already has one college in mind — though it’s not a popular choice with his family, which is full of LSU fans.

“I really like Alabama,” Dunbar said. “If not there, Louisiana Tech would be good. (My family doesn’t) tell me not to go, they’re just hard on me about it.”