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Established October 31, 1996
Front Page Columns and Features
Last updated: 07/08/2011 11:25 AM
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Football
Dunn Sticking With Buckeyes - For Now

By Brandon Castel

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Bri'onte Dunn has been committed to Ohio State since April, but a lot has happened in the last two months.

The running back out of Canton Glenoak High School has seen his future school lose its star quarterback and legendary head coach who also happened to be the man recruiting Dunn to Columbus.

The 6-2, 215-pound back has heard the sales pitches from around the Big Ten, and the rest of the country for that matter. He has seen the negative press. He knows the future is uncertain in Columbus, but Dunn isn’t ready to jump off the Buckeye bandwagon.

At least not yet anyway.

The 2012 prospect is attending The Opening, a NIKE camp in Beaverton, Ore. this week, where he told Rivals.com that he is still committed to Ohio State but wants to see what happens this fall before making his final decision.

“I'm just waiting until August,” Dunn told Rivals.com.

“I don't really think anything is going to happen and I'm still committed to Ohio State. That's my thinking. I talked to the coach, he's a really good coach and he told me to have faith in him and that's what I'm going to do.”

Of course “the coach” is new OSU Head Coach Luke Fickell, who took over the program this off-season following the resignation of former head coach Jim Tressel. Even after all the controversy surrounding the program, Tressel’s Memorial Day resignation caught Dunn and most other recruits off guard.

“I was surprised, I was hurt but you have to move on,” he told Rivals.

“I'm there to play for Ohio State.”

And to play for new head coach Luke Fickell. While he is no longer carrying the “interim” tag, Fickell’s future with the program is still very much in question.

A university spokesperson said that Ohio State will reassess the head coaching position during and after the 2011 season, but Dunn already knows who he would like to see on the sidelines when he gets to Columbus.

“I would like (Fickell) to be the coach,” said Dunn, who admits dreaming of playing for the Buckeyes as a kid.

“He's a really good coach, he's been at Ohio State, I built chemistry with him and I think he's a good coach.”

That is one of the reasons Dunn is staying committed to the Buckeyes while they await their hearing with the NCAA Committee on Infractions next month. If all goes smoothly, Dunn expects to be wearing scarlet and gray next fall, but he isn’t going to make his final decision until after the NCAA ruling.

“Hopefully, nothing really happens,” said Dunn, the No. 8 running back in Rivals.com’s class of 2012. 

“If a big thing happens then that's why I'm keeping my options open and I'm looking at other schools.”

Though it won’t help him win any popularity contests in Columbus, Dunn recently visited Ann Arbor and could also make trips to Penn State and Miami (Fla.) before making his final decision.

Along with Dunn, the Buckeyes already have another 4-star running back committed for the class of 2012.

Similar in size and stature, Columbus DeSales tailback Warren Ball is rated as the No. 18 running back in the class. He committed to OSU last September over offers from Iowa, Wisconsin and Pittsburgh and doesn’t appear to be looking around.

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