It’s wasn’t news to Brionte Dunn that the Michigan coaching staff had been anxiously anticipating his presence at a game this year. He was taken aback, however, by the overwhelming fan eagerness and their keen awareness of his presence Saturday.
“They were chanting my name telling me to come up there,” Dunn recalled. “In the middle of the game I was watching the game and I heard someone say, ‘Brionte, come to Michigan!’ (Laughter). It was fun. I had a good time. I think it’s real different. When I say different, I’m talking about the atmosphere. I think it’s big up there and I think the fans are more into the game. I really like it up there.”
That positive perception certainly wasn’t harmed by the Wolverines’ 45-17 trouncing of the Nebraska Cornhuskers. Afterward Brady Hoke & company made sure to point out to Dunn just how pivotal the rushing attack was to the effort.
“I think they are very good,” Dunn said regarding Michigan. “I think they are very young and in the future they are going to be pretty good. I was surprised the score was like that. I think they ran the ball pretty good too. I think the coaches said that he got the ball 28 times. That’s a nice amount of carries. (The Michigan coaches said) that they need me to come, they’ll use me a lot, and I’ll fit into the offense.”
“I’ve got a lot of stuff to think about… me and my family. We’re still thinking about everything.”
The timetable for concluding that thought is a lot shorter than previously thought. Earlier in the fall the five-star running back openly contemplated being a midyear graduate before later reporting he had decided against it. Now, another change of heart has brought the deadline for his collegiate decision into greater focus.
Said Dunn, “Well, I graduate early so (a choice has to be made) soon.”
That’s a clear sign that the competition between Michigan and Ohio State ramp up rapidly both on and off the field in the coming days. Dunn plans to make his way back to Ann Arbor again next week to witness the arch-rivals in their season ending square-off. While the two programs duel for the victory on the field, two of his close friends will likely be wielding their Maize & Blue influence in the stands.
One half of that contingent will be Dunn’s cousin, Alliance (OH) Marlington standout, Dymonte Thomas. The class of 2013 star was also in Ann Arbor today and plans to be on hand again next weekend. His feverish efforts to convince Dunn to join him in donning the Maize & Blue haven’t waned a bit since his he committed to the Wolverines back in September. Recently Thomas went as far as to warn his bigger burlier cousin of the on-field punishment that he will unleash upon him should Dunn opt to remain a Buckeye.
“First of all, if I did go to Ohio State he wouldn’t have a chance (against me),” said Dunn. “Second of all, if I did go to Michigan, he still wouldn’t have a chance in practice! Either way it goes, he is going to be hurting. I’ve got too much pride for that little skinny boy! (Laughter).”
It’s a safe bet that Lakewood St. Edward offensive tackle, Kyle Kalis will throw in his last ditch recruiting pitch as well. The two All-Americans (Kalis in the Army Bowl and Dunn in the Offense-Defense Bowl) conferred about their respective recruitments earlier in the process. Those conversations will likely recommence in the very near future.
“I haven’t talked to Kyle in like two or three weeks,” Dunn reported. “I texted him to see if he was coming to the game today, but I heard he is coming next week, so I’ll see him next week. We plan to get together over Christmas break and we planned on taking our official visit to Michigan together, but I haven’t talked to him since then.”
The combination of Kalis, Thomas, and the Michigan coaching staff is tantamount to a fullcourt press. Whether it will be enough to break Dunn’s allegiance to the Buckeyes remains to be seen. For now, Dunn remains adamant about his commitment to Ohio State and insists he is watching all the developments affecting the program he grew up loving. That includes the latest head coaching rumors swirling around Columbus.
“I heard Urban Meyer has got a seven year contract for 35 million,” said Dunn.
Does that move the Scarlet & Grey up in his eyes? Would he want to play in a spread offense?
“No comment,” the talented youngster said coyly.
Stay tuned to GoBlueWolverine for more on Dunn in the coming days and weeks.