Up Close: D.J. Bunn

SMITHFIELD, N.C. --- Of the verbal commitments North Carolina collected during its mid-February Junior Day, D.J. Bunn is one of the more intriguing prospects because of his versatility.

"He's just flat fast," Smithfield-Selma assistant football coach Chris Martin said. "He has great football smarts – he's been around it all of his life. He gets a little hole and he's not going to be caught. He has the nose for the football."

Bunn, a 5-foot-11, 195-pounder, has started both ways for Smithfield-Selma High School the past two seasons.

Offensively, he's one of the wingbacks in Smithfield-Selma's wing-T offense.

"I'll run the ball a lot of different ways and also will go out for passes," Bunn said.

While sharing the backfield with Justin Dixon, who rushed for 1,589 yards and 17 touchdowns, Bunn ended his junior season with 813 rushing yards and 13 rushing touchdowns. He added approximately 300 yards and two touchdowns in receptions.

As a sophomore, he rushed for 765 yards and eight touchdowns.

Defensively, Bunn has always played safety, where he his primary responsibility is run support. After recording 34 tackles and an interception as a sophomore, Bunn became more of a playmaker his junior year, collecting 110 tackles and four interceptions.

Bunn will more than likely stay in the secondary when he arrives at Chapel Hill.

"[They're recruiting me as a] cornerback and they said if that doesn't work out probably one of the safety [positions]," Bunn said.

"I think they're talking about putting him at cornerback because of his height, his size, and his speed," Martin said. "… He could go to safety easily. Heck, if they needed to they could have him returning kicks or even put him at tailback. He has the speed and versatility to do all that."

Lacking any true experience at cornerback, Bunn plans to work out with UNC's newly hired defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach Everett Withers this summer.

"I'll probably go to the Carolina camp and work on cornerback since I've never played it before," Bunn said.

Continuing his father's legacy played a major role in Bunn's decision to become a Tar Heel.

"It had a big impact," Bunn said. "He won the Bluebonnet Bowl in '80. I hope to go up there and win some bowls and maybe win a national championship.

"It was a big thing [to play for UNC]. It's close to home. My mom and my dad won't have to drive far to see me play."

Bunn's parents, though, had little effect on his decision.

"There really wasn't any pressure [from my parents to select UNC]," Bunn said. "It was a place where I wanted to be. I felt more comfortable there, so that's why I made the commitment."

However, Bunn's teammate and close friend, Dixon, had more to do with Bunn verbally committing to UNC than his parents.

"We were talking about [committing] that week before," Bunn said. "When we went up there, they offered us. We went to the side and talked about it a little bit. We've wanted to go to the same college and room together. So we committed."

Although UNC was Bunn's lone offer, schools like East Carolina, NC State, and South Carolina were making a strong push for him.

"I guess I just wanted to make the commitment and not have to worry about the whole recruiting process," Bunn said. "I just wanted to focus on my grades and next year's football season."

D.J. Bunn Profile


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