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South Florida corner, kick returner Chris Dunkley to visit Ravens, Patriots, Bills, Lions

South Florida cornerback Chris Dunkley tries to stop during a drill at the NFL regional combine at Denver Broncos headquarters Saturday, Feb. 21, 2015, in Englewood, Colo.
South Florida cornerback Chris Dunkley tries to stop during a drill at the NFL regional combine at Denver Broncos headquarters Saturday, Feb. 21, 2015, in Englewood, Colo.(David Zalubowski / Associated Press)

South Florida cornerback and kick returner Chris Dunkley told The Baltimore Sun that he will visit the Ravens next week along with the New England Patriots, Buffalo Bills and Detroit Lions.

Dunkley is a converted wide receiver and Florida transfer who's also had a private workout for the Miami Dolphins and Patriots, and visited the San Diego Chargers and Atlanta Falcons.

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"It's a childhood dream," Dunkley said in a telephone interview. "It's crazy how it's finally getting closer and closer. My destiny is starting to come true."

Dunkley played in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl all-star game and participated in an NFL regional combine.

Dunkley started 10 games at cornerback last season. At cornerback, Dunkley had 26 tackles, one sack, 1.5 tackles for losses and led the team with five pass breakups. He had one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.

"I'm a real good corner," Dunkley said. "Some teams are still shocked that I switched to corner my last year in college. I have better hips than a lot of guys who have been playing corner all four years in college.

"I'm a very exciting player. I'm very good at route recognition because I played the postion before. I'm good at picking up routes. I know the splits. I know what receivers like to do."

Dunkley had seven tackles, two pass breakups, a 41-yard kick return and a 24-yard punt return in his first game as a cornerback last season. He was an all-conference kick returner, averaging 24 yards per kickoff return and 8.5 yards per punt return.

"Special teams are always an important part of the game," Dunkley said. "You can change the game in one play. Every time I touch the ball in the return game be ready for me to take it to the house."

Dunkley started seven games as a junior and caught seven passes for 87 yards. He had 18 kickoff returns for 406 yards, returning a punt 50 yards for a touchdown. He also scored a touchdown on a reverse and named the Bulls' Most Improved Player.

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Dunkley transferred to South Florida in 2011 after redshirting at Florida while dealing with hamstring and academic problems.

Dunkley served a suspension in 2012 for a misdemeanor domestic violence battery case that was resolved through a pretrial intervention program as a first-time offender with the charges nolle prossed by prosecutors. Dunkley was reinstated and earned back his scholarship after initially rejoining the team as a walk-on.

Dunkley played at Pahokee High School and was named to the Under Armour All-American game after catching 103 career passes for 1,923 yards and 16 touchdowns. Dunkley was an all-state selection who caught 34 passes for 721 yards and four touchdowns as a senior and 40 catches for 596 yards and six touchdowns as a junior.

Dunkley has been working out with Ravens safety Matt Elam in Boca Raton, Fla. Dunkley is friends with Elam and Ravens safety Will Hill, two former Florida Gators, and former Ravens outside linebacker Pernell McPhee, who went to Pahokee.

"I'm best friends with Matt and real good friends with Will Hill," Dunkley said. "I've been training with Matt. That's my guy. He's ready to go this season, trust me. He's been working very hard to get ready."

Dunkley has heard different things about his draft stock, but has gotten positive feedback from teams.

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"They've been watching a lot of film of me and I'm hearing good things," Dunkley said. "I'm learning a lot about the draft process. Some teams say I should be there to draft the third day of the draft. I'm just going with the flow and working hard and ready for whatever happens next. I'm hoping for the best and preparing for the worst."

awilson@baltsun.com

twitter.com/RavensInsider

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