Future Coug Dunn has strong bond with WSU

THE EARLIEST VERBAL commitment in Washington State history, Spokane's Aaron Dunn, a tight end in the 2010 class, had a season ending injury this fall that will also curtail his hoops season at Mead. WSU and Dunn have kept in close contact since he pledged crimson back in July, and he was on the field celebrating after the Apple Cup win. A number of other schools, however, are charging hard.

It's awfully early to think about the 2010 class. But not for the WSU coaches.

The ink on the '09 letters of intent won't be put on paper for another 50 days or so. But tight end Aaron Dunn could be shaping up as a sought target in the '10 class, though he is already committed to the Cougs. And the Wazzu staff continues to strengthen bonds with him.

Dunn (6-6, 225) says that since he verbally committed to Wazzu this past summer, he and Cougar tight ends coach Rich Rasmussen, as well as assistants Chris Ball and others, have stayed in frequent contact with one another through email or whenever Dunn has picked up the phone and dialed up the WSU coaches, something he's done frequently.

"They were actually at the game when I injured (the knee) and I talked to them on the phone later that night. I've talked to them a lot (since July) and me and coach Raz talk a lot -- it's pretty much weekly that we talk," said Dunn.

Right after Dunn got off crutches this past month, he headed down to Pullman for the Apple Cup. And immediately after the issue was decided and the Cougs knocked off the Dawgs, Dunn said he, while cautious not to tweak the knee, headed right down onto the Martin Stadium turf to do a little celebrating on the field.

"It was awesome," said Dunn.

ALTHOUGH DUNN HAS verbally committed to Washington State, other schools have come running ever since he went crimson in July -- Stanford, Oregon, Washington, Boise State and Alabama among them. Stanford is recruiting particularly hard of late and they've asked him to come down and see the school, something Dunn said he wouldn't mind doing. Assistant Chris Tormey had been recruiting him for UW but has since been let go.

"Since I've been growing up, I've always wanted to go to Washington State," said Dunn. "And then with Stanford, Stanford is the most interested right now other than WSU obviously...(Washington) emailed me and said they'll let me know as soon as they can about who the new recruiting coordinator is and who's going to be recruiting Spokane," said Dunn.

DUNN SAID HE will definitely camp at Washington State this summer, and may also attend a Stanford camp and possibly others. Although he's still in the rehabilitation stages, he said his knee should be in good shape by the time the camps roll around this summer.

"Rehab is going well and I'll be back sooner than a lot of people think," said Dunn. "It was an ACL and lateral meniscus...I had surgery six weeks ago and my surgeon told me around mid-February I'll be able to start jogging, running in a straight line by the end of February and then in March or April, I'll be able to start cutting so I'll be able to do light workouts then.

"By May, I'll be pretty much able to play in a game," said Dunn.

While missing the end of the football season and basketball season his junior year is tough, Dunn said he's looking at it as having gotten his major injury out of the way early. And he's not the only one.

"That's what coach Ball was telling me the other night, too," said Dunn.

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