Five-star tailback Brionte Dunn was injured in last week's game against Austintown Fitch, and barely took the field for practice all week. For three quarters he was used sparingly and even then only as a decoy, but Dunn inserted himself into the game and dominated the fourth quarter, even though everyone in attendance knew he would carry the football.
"This win feels so good, and I'm so proud of my team," Dunn stated following the game. "Beating Massillon and Canton McKinley on the road in the same season feels great. I'm very happy right now, and very proud of my team. We need to keep winning to have our undefeated season, and I knew my team needed me out there."
"Our coach didn't want me to play, and possibly jeopardize my career, but I just ran in there and hoped he wouldn't make me come out," he added. "They never told me to come out, so I just stayed in there for both fourth quarter drives. I was really feeling it out there, even though I was sore. Me playing in the fourth quarter was really not the plan, and the coaches really didn't want me to play, even though my doctor said I could go."
It's easy to rank Dunn, 6-foot-1, 215-pounds, as a five-star talent, because at his best he is a devastating runner, and the numbers he has put up are astounding. But, it's very difficult to see what a player has on the inside until he is faced with pain and adversity. Dunn certainly passed that test.
"I just had to do it for my team and I had to go out there and do it for them," Dunn explained. "Once the coaching staff didn't stop me, I knew we were winning this game. I actually felt good out there physically, but I wasn't myself really. I couldn't really cut well, so I just went straight ahead and got what I could. I just blocked out the pain, and tried to play hard. This win is a top-ten or even top-five for me, and I'm so happy for our team."
For the record, Dunn entered the game with his team trailing 7-3 in the fourth quarter. He led his team on a 64-yard touchdown drive, carrying the ball seven times out of 11 plays to give his team a 10-7 lead. Following a punt, Dunn carried eight times on a 12-play touchdown drive to cement the victory. In all, Dunn carried 17 times for 71 yards.
Even though Dunn committed to Ohio State last fall, he has opened up his recruitment, while still remaining committed to the Buckeye program. He has taken unofficial visits to Michigan and Penn State recently, and this weekend he will head to Columbus.
"I'm going down to Ohio State this Saturday and I'm pumped about that," he stated. "I might not take any official visits until after my season is over. I won't be graduating early, so that gives me more time to make the right decision."
This season, Dunn has rushed for nearly 1,000 yards through six games. As a junior, Dunn earned All-Ohio honors rushing 358 times for 2,030 yards and scored 22 touchdowns. Included in this total were two 300-yard rushing games.