Matawan senior Jason Dunne, one of the top returning guards in the Shore Conference, has verbally committed to the University of Hartford.

Dunne was a Shore Sports Network first-team All-Shore selection as a junior when he averaged team-highs in points (15.1) and assists (3.6) while also checking in with five rebounds and 1.2 steals per game for Matawan’s first sectional champion in more than a 50 years. He is believed to be the Huskies' first Division I recruit right out of high school since former forward Dax Pearson committed to Army in 1996. Sandy Perry, a 2005 graduate, played at a pair of junior college programs, Lackawanna (Pa.) and Barton County (Kan.), before moving on to play at Division I Georgia Southern in 2008-09.

(Photo by Cliff Lavelle)

Dunne also had an offer from Navy and multiple Division II programs before committing to Division I Hartford, which plays in the America East Conference. The Hawks finished 17-16 last year, including 10-6 in the conference. Dunne is the first member of the Shore Conference Class of 2015 to commit to a Division I program.

Dunne was a consistent force from the start of the season, starting with an MVP performance at the Husky Classic Holiday Tournament, which Matawan won. He scored 11 of his 15 points in the second half of an SCT semifinal win over Manasquan and poured in 15 more in a loss to Point Beach in the semifinals. During Matawan’s Central Jersey Group II title run, Dunne scored 23 points in a win over Carteret in the quarterfinals and poured in 20 in the sectional final against Rumson. Dunne will be back with teammate Joe Piscopo to defend the Huskies’ Class B North title and Central Jersey Group II title.