Flint Hill P/K Justin Duenkel (Photo: Flint Hill Athletics)
Flint Hill’s “money in the bank” Justin Duenkel will take a PWO at UVA
by Jim McGrath, recruitNoVA
Flint Hill kicker Justin Duenkel, who received a preferred walk-on offer from Virginia Tech last week, switched gears on Saturday and committed to rival University of Virginia.
Duenkel made his announcement on Twitter, which read, “… I want to thank the coaching staff at the University of Virginia for believing in me from the start and blessing me with the opportunity. I am proud to announce that I will be committing to play football at the University of Virginia.”
Reached by recruitNoVA.com on Sunday, Duenkel elaborated on his decision.
“UVA felt like home,” said Duenkel, who booted 50 extra points for the Huskies last year, while nailing 58 of 80 kickoffs into the end zone for touchbacks. “UVA is a program on the rise. I’m excited to be a part of that.”
Duenkel, who is also entering Bronco Mendenhall’s program as a PWO, is the ninth player from the Class of 2019 to commit to the Cavaliers in the past week. Locally, Stonewall Jackson’s standout safety Chayce Chalmers, was one player who made a recent commitment to Virginia.
Duenkel, who is rated as the #10 nationally ranked high school kicker by Kornblue Kicking, helps create a unique kicking situation in Charlottesville. The Wahoos received a commitment from Hunter Pearson in December, and last year gained Westfield’s Brian Delaney, a Parade All-American kicker as a high school senior.
This does not seem to faze Duenkel, who was informed of the situation. “I’ll do whatever the coaches ask of me. I just want to compete.”
The 5-10, 180-lb. Duenkel also played some defense at cornerback for Flint Hill, and was part of the “Dirty Thirty” group that posted an 11-0 record in 2017 while winning the VISAA Division I state title. With a host of returnees, including Jordan Houston, Trey Rucker, Miles Thompson, Jaylin Hertz and Elijah Wasson, the Huskies will be favored to repeat in 2018.
– Jim McGrath