19 August 2010
This time last year if I asked fans to name a 2012 player some with have said Greg McMullen but most would have said Brionte Dunn. He appeared on the scene as a freshman looking like the second coming of Chris Wells. I saw the thing in him that separates big backs from tweeners. I am talking about the feet. Quick, quick, quick. The outstanding big backs are 220-225 but have the same quick feet as players forty lbs lighter. So the question becomes, why is Dunn so far down the list now?
The answer is pretty simple. On his sophmore film I did not see those same quick feet. I did not see the jump cuts. I did not see the same explosion.My concern when we first saw him was that he could outgrown the position. Anytime you have a player that big at such an early
age, the odds he is going to outgrow the position are pretty good.That may be what has happened with Dunn. The thing is, he is still such an impressive looking athlete. Line up the top twenty players in the state next year and Dunn would be a top five kid. I was talking to my friend Ray Jaske at ESPN 990. He saw Dunn run a leg of the 4x100 relay head to head against the very fast Devin Smith. Smith had to give it everything he had to hold off Dunn, who outweighed him by about forty lbs at the time.
The thing is I think Dunn still is looking like a four-star back. The problem is, Ohio is chock full of five-star prospects next year. Half of the players I have ranked ahead of Dunn are defensive linemen. Position matters in these rankings. It is not a matter of Dunn not being as impressive as it is so many players emerging who have jumped ahead of him. I did now know who DeShawn Hall and Tom Strobel were at this time last year. I just found out about Kyle Kalis after his impressive performance at the same camp where Dunn got everybodys attention at. Yes, Dunn was impressive. Impressive as an athlete. That may be where his future lies. I wonder if he is going to play any defense next year? It would greatly improve his stock if he would get on the field and put up some game film at linebacker. A superior athlete like Dunn would help his team as a linebacker no matter how little experience he has. It could do wonders for his stock, especially if he wants to be a Buckeye. Linebacker will be a position of need. Running back will not be. The Buckeyes will look at players too good to turn down at running back. Warren Ball is one of those kinds of players. Pennsylvanias Rushel Shell is another and like Ball has the Buckeyes at the top of his list. I don't know if the staff will go with two backs next year, even if we could take a talent like Shell, but I am confident that we will not see three offered.
It is still early. Dunn has not even started his junior season yet. Maybe we will see a return to the quick footed explosive back we saw when he was a sophmore, but it would not hurt for him to get a few snaps on the other side of the ball.