Aaron Dunn: The Deone Bucannon I know

IT WAS THE SUMMER of 2010 – I had just arrived on Washington State's scenic campus and was meeting all my new teammates. Guys from California, Washington, Florida, and Wisconsin were my new brothers. While all of my future teammates were great guys, one stood out – Deone Bucannon. This kid, all of 160-pounds soaking wet, epitomized the phrase "ready to work." Hell, all he knew was hard work.

From his incredible true freshman year to his standout senior season, no individual changed his body for the better like Deone.

Due to his work ethic, dedication, and never-ending drive to reach his goals at Washington State, Deone became one of the best football players in the country. As a direct result, the Arizona Cardinals picked him in the first round.

But the football story is one everyone knows by now. What I want to tell the world, specifically Cougar Nation, is the kind of person Deone is…

WHILE MANY IN his position would inevitably respond to stardom with an attitude that said, ‘I'm better than you,' Deone has remained the same person I met way back in the summer of 2010. Never will you meet a kinder, more genuine person than Deone Bucannon.

To give but one example -- imagine a future first-round pick walking back from the weight room and seeing an old teammate from years gone by. For many, it'd be a simple wave and keep on walkin'. Not Deone.

See, I was in my car, stopped at a red light in Pullman. As I saw Deone, I waved. The first words out of his mouth were; "My man! How are you? How are things goin'?!"

That struck me. This guy was going to be a NFL player in less than a month and he wanted to talk about how I'm doing? And if you think that was just him trying to be nice, you're dead wrong. He genuinely cared. He stopped, asked, and genuinely wanted to know about what was going on with me. That's the kind of person Deone Bucannon is.

AS GOOD AS Deone will be on the NFL stage, I'll be a huge fan of his due to the person, not the player he is as a pro. He could go on to become the best safety to ever play the game, and I'll still tell you and everyone who will listen: He's a better guy than he is a football player.

Don't get me wrong, I love watching Deone play the game of football. The way he flies around, hits with deadly force, and shows his passion for the game are things I have the utmost respect for. And I have no doubt in my mind he will have an incredible NFL career. He can rest assured I'll be cheering him on Sundays in the gall. But when the middle of the week comes, I'll be rooting for him because of the kind of guy he is.

I hope Cougar Nation loves Deone on Sundays, and also every other day of the week. If you get a chance to see him, talk to him, or be around him, I hope that you'll thank him for being one of best players, teammates, and people to ever wear the Crimson and Gray.

Aaron Dunn is a Washington State graduate and former Cougar tight end. A four-star prospect out of Spokane's Mead High in the 2010 recruiting class, he was with for the Cougars for two seasons (2010-11). In 2012 the Air Raid offense, which doesn't feature a tight end in its base, arrived in Pullman and Dunn transferred to Western Washington but to play basketball. His stay at WWU was brief, as injuries and a coaching change followed and Dunn made the decision to return to WSU to complete his college education. He earned his degree in political science from Washington State in May 2014. He will be attending law school at the University of Montana starting this fall.

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