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Domonique Dunbar's time has arrived

"When I wasn't getting reps I wasn't complaining about it, I just wasn't the guy at the time and now's my time, so I need to step up and play." - <b>Domonique Dunbar</b>

As Domonique Dunbar was finishing his high school career at Manatee High School in Bradenton, Florida, he found numerous Division I programs flooding his mailbox with letters. Calls poured in when he garnered all-area, all-region and all-state honors and participated in the talent-rich Florida-California All-Star game.

After deciding to commit to Louisville and eventually doing well in his first collegiate fall camp, one might expect that he'd anticipate seeing playing time early in his career and often. However, Dunbar saw action in just one contest prior to the 2003 season, when he was limited to spot duty in eight games, recording six total tackles.

"When I wasn't getting reps I wasn't complaining about it, I just wasn't the guy at the time and nows my time, so I need to step up and play," explained the 6'0, 190-pound defensive back.

His time has seemed to arrive during spring practice as he has seen an increasing amount of time with the first unit.

"It feels good actually to get out and play a little bit," Dunbar explained. "I think that I have developed some since last year. The experience and working hard over the summer is really what it is...I just have to keep going at it."

Following Friday's scrimmage, Coach Bobby Petrino gave nice praise to the junior.

"I thought Domonique did a good job of covering," explained Petrino. "He's tall and what he makes you do is be real accurate with the throw. He has long arms and is tall and does a good job."

Dunbar with cornerbacks coach Joe Whitt Jr.
Dunbar has become the first option when the Cardinal secondary employs a nickel package, something that Dunbar credits for his continued improvement.

"It gives me a chance to get in with the one's to see how it works with them and that's making me better at the same time," said Dunbar.

With the added experience and influx of young talent, the secondary is expected to improve on it's performance of a year ago. While the unit played well at times, it seemed to tire as the season wore on, giving up multiple deep plays, culminating with the subpar performance in the Mobile Bowl against Miami of Ohio.

"We aren't focused on last year," explained Dunbar. "We have a bunch of talented guys in the whole defense. We can do the job, I think we'll be pretty good on defense this year."

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