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Hinsdale Central wide receiver Ian Bunting received a pleasant surprise just days before preseason practice began August 8.
The 6-foot-6, 196-pound junior drew his first college scholarship offer on the last day of a summer camp Bunting attended in West Lafayette, Ind. Purdue coaches asked Bunting to join the Boilermakers.
Bunting is expected to receive more bids, but college recruiters now are focused on gaining commitments from the Class of 2013 instead of worrying about present-day high school juniors.
Rivals.com projects Bunting as a college tight end due to his size. Bunting was a reserve forward last season on the Hinsdale Central boys basketball team.
“It’s awesome getting the first one. It feels great,” Bunting said. “(Purdue) was not one of the teams that talked to me the most. It’s surprising because shortly before the offer, they were talking to me more.”
Bunting attended several camps during a two week period in July. He also went to prospect camps at Illinois, Michigan State, Northwestern, Stanford, Iowa and Wisconsin. He usually traveled with his mother, Susan, who works out of their Hinsdale home and was able to take time off.
“I think (the camps) were hugely important for me. They always get a chance to look at you on video, but I think seeing you in person is always more helpful,” Bunting said.
College recruiters usually measure height and weigh each recruit before putting them through a 40-yard dash, vertical jump and broad jump. Bunting said the most important test is going one-on-one with a defender. He ran pass routes with a quarterback while being guarded by a cornerback.
Bunting and the Red Devils (2-0) know how to move the ball.
Running back Jack Adams has a team-leading 297 yards on 43 carries through two games. Bunting leads Hinsdale with 92 receiving yards on three catches. He pulled in his first touchdown of the season in Friday night’s 17-3 victory at Leyden.
Hinsdale hosts Proviso West (2-0) at 7:30 p.m. Friday in the West Suburban Silver opener for both teams. The two are among five teams in the seven-team conference to start the season without a loss.