Future Coug has long been crimson

THE EARLIEST VERBAL commitment in program history at Washington State, he pledged crimson the summer between his sophomore and junior year. He has one of those TE/DE body types but he looks to be pretty much set at a position for when he gets to Pullman. And he's far ahead of the curve in more ways than one.

Ever since Aaron Dunn (6-6.5, 235) verbally committed to Washington State, other schools have come running -- including most of the Pac-10. But the Cougs, said Dunn, remain clearly in the forefront of his mind.

"Right now it's definitely WSU," said Dunn. "...I've just grown up a Cougar. Ever since I was little I've been going to the football games. It's just always where I've wanted to go.

"The coaching staff is just amazing. They were at the game when I got hurt and later that night, the first they told me on the phone was 'Don't worry. We're sticking by you 100 percent.' They send me handwritten letters, all the coaches, all the time. They're just awesome."

Dunn had an exceptional performance at Wazzu's summer camp this past June. Shortly thereafter, in early July, he verballed to Washington State in between his sophomore and junior year.

If Dunn keeps growing and doesn't stop, sure, it's conceivable he could end up at another position but all things being equal, he'll arrive at Washington State as a tight end.

"I like blocking but I also love catching the ball and running. I'd prefer to play tight end but anything they want me at I'm okay with," said Dunn.

DUNN WILL ATTEND Washington State's summer camp again this year but he's also getting camp invites from schools all around the country -- Michigan, Cal, Stanford, Alabama, Colorado and Boise State to mention a few.

Of those recruiting him and apart from WSU, Stanford is intriguing to Dunn, he said, because of their academics. Oregon holds some interest as well, where a good friend of his (Curtis White) has verbally committed.

The heavy recruiting attention is in spite of the fact he tore his ACL in late October. The injury and rehab ended not only his football season but also precluded him playing basketball this year. A little over three months after surgery, Dunn, however, is well ahead of schedule.

An optimistic progression would have put him jogging in the early part of February, starting to run in a straight line at the end of the month. Dunn is even further along than that, having been running since the first week of the month.

"I'm actually at the stage where I'm running, probably 15-20 minutes a day. I went to the doctor right at the end of January and he said everything looked good and he cleared me to start running. I was jogging for about a week," said Dunn.

DUNN SAID HE will likely take some unofficial visits this spring to other schools such as Stanford and Oregon, possibly a UW junior day event "just to check it out." He will also be heading to WSU.

Definite camp plans are set for Washington State and a NIKE event in Eugene, with Stanford and Oregon two others Dunn said he would probably attend.

In the meantime, he may be verbally committed but Washington State continues to recruit him strongly. Dunn said he calls WSU or emails with the coaching staff often.

"Between coach (Rich) Rasmussen and coach (Chris) Ball, I talk to them quite a bit," said Dunn.

Dunn was recently named to Scout.com's Cream of the Crop list, a compiling of the best tight end prospects in the West for the 2010 class.

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