Syris Dunlap of Liberal HS is one of the more unknown players across the state of Kansas. It may have to do with the team struggling last season but let’s make not mistake about it, Dunlap is one of the elite playmakers in high school football in Kansas.
Dunlap, who stands 5-foot-9 and 170-pounds, may be the fastest football player in Kansas. We verified that this summer as he ran a 4.4 forty-yard dash at the Kansas Shrine Bowl Sports in Kansas combine. He is also a freak in the weight room for his size as he squats 460 and cleans 305 pounds. He also has a 38-inch vertical leap.
Dunlap is a four-year starter for the Redskins. He has just over 3,100 rushing yards over the last three seasons including 1,200 last year, 1,100 as a sophomore and 800 as a freshman in 2016. Dunlap can also throw it if it’s needed as he threw for 840 yards last season and 600 more as a sophomore. He has 70 touchdowns in his career entering 2019.
Liberal, who is led Jason Dunlap, the father of Syris, is ready for a much-improved season. They return eight starters on each side of the football for 2019.
His father was a former all-state player for Liberal back in its dynasty days under Gary Cornelsen. Liberal played for seven state championships out of the 10 in the 1990s which included four state titles. Liberal has five titles as a school in football. They also have too many state track and field championships in girls and boys to count. The school also produced multiple Division I players, NFL players, and NBA players in the 1990s, to name a few that included Martin Lewis (NBA), Melvin Sanders (NBA), Jerame Tuman (NFL), Lamar Chapman (NFL). Most recently they’ve had Britton Abbott go on to shine at Oklahoma State as a fullback/cowboy back who was a walk-on to the program and the quarterback at Liberal HS just before Dunlap.
While Liberal may not be the Liberal of the 1990s, they still have some talent and a major talent in Dunlap. Look for him to shine when he has the football in his hands and to pick up recruiting interest this season. We caught up with him below in the latest Q&A edition of Faces in Kansas.
Q&A w/ Dunlap
How did you get involved in football?
I was born into. My dad was coaching at Liberal high and he was the one who introduced me to the sport.
What are your goals this season?
My goals for this season are to better myself and my team. Also to win a conference championship.
Do you guys have a shot to make a run this year?
I believe that we do have a shot with all of the returning starters from last year. Well just have to put it all together as a whole team.
What makes you such a force as a player?
I am highly a competitive person. I want to be great at everything I do and I feel I have the skill set to do so.
What’s the atmosphere like to play football on Friday night for your school and town?
It’s a very special one, everyone is so close to each other that the fans, players and coaches feel the intensity and get goosebumps. Its very hard to describe.
For anyone that hasn’t seen one of your games, why come to one?
I am a electrifying player than can make anything happen at any moment in time on both sides of the ball.
Who are other key players on your team?
Braxton Hyde, Malcolm Wilthsire, Hunter Hatcher, Lee Hatcher, Isreal Avolos
Favorite thing about football?
Football brings people together. It teaches you lessons and morals that you can carry for the rest of your life.
Do you play any other sports, tell us about that, what other positions do you play?
I play Basketball, Track and Baseball as well. In basketball I am a point guard. In track I am a sprinter and a jumper and in baseball I play outfield.
What is it like to play for your coach?
My coach is a very intense person. He always wants to better himself and everybody around him.
What did you and the team do in the off-season to become better?
We had weights every morning at 7am, Monday through Friday. We put blood sweat and tears into our workouts this summer.
What interest are you seeing at the next level and what are your plans?
I am interested in playing at the next level, if that’s in track baseball or football. I am willing to do everything or whatever the school needs me to do.
Favorite thing to do when you aren’t playing sports?
Spend time with my family.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I see myself coaching and teaching.
Favorite subject in school, what type of student are you, GPA?
My favorite subject is English. I am a very energetic and outgoing student. My GPA is a 3.5.
Who is your role model?
My role model would have to be my Father. He has thought me so many lessons and he has made me the person I am today and always will be.
Best place to eat in your town or the surrounding area?
In my opinion it is either Billy's or big bites.
One thing the average person wouldn’t know about you?
I participate in the School musical every year. It is a great way to interact with people and build new and better relationships