Dunn not waffling on Buckeye commitment

Todd Porter
Updated: Thursday, April 28, 2011
GlenOak High School running back Bri’onte Dunn<br /><div id="dfp-300x250" style="float:right;"><script type="text/javascript">googletag.display("dfp-300x250");</script></div>
GlenOak High School running back Bri’onte Dunn

Chalk it up to experience. GlenOak High School running back Bri’onte Dunn is starting to realize just how far his words can travel regardless of the misunderstanding.

Dunn, who verbally committed to Ohio State before the end of his junior season, was reported to have backed out of his commitment to the Buckeyes.

Not true, he said.

A recruiting website said Dunn was visiting other schools and backing away from OSU.

“I am still committed to Ohio State,” said Dunn, who rushed for 2,030 yards last season and scored 22 touchdowns. “I have been visiting other schools. I was basically trying to tell (the writer for the recruiting site) I’m still committed to Ohio State, but I’m going to visit other schools to keep my options open if anything happens to Ohio State. Who knows what’s going to happen.”

The Buckeyes could face further sanctions from the NCAA this fall. Five players sold memorabilia and awards to a Columbus tattoo artist in exchange for free tattoos, a used SUV and other items. The players have already been suspended for the first five games of the 2011 season.

Head Coach Jim Tressel is suspended for five games and was fined $250,000. Tressel could face additional sanctions and the NCAA could give the football program more penalties.

It is not uncommon for recruits to verbally commit to one school and continue to visit other schools. It happens frequently and student-athletes take advantage of seeing different campus cultures and cities.

However, Dunn said if Ohio State receives major sanctions, he may change his mind.

“I want to win and play for championships,” Dunn said. “If they can’t go to bowl games for the years I’m there, that’s something I want to do.”

Asked if Tressel were to be dismissed if that would impact his decision, Dunn didn’t hesitate.

“Yes,” he said, “I feel strongly that he should be there.”

GlenOak head coach Scott Garcia said OSU Offensive Coordinator Jim Bollman visited the school this week. Garcia was on the phone with Ohio State coaches Thursday trying to put the Internet rumor to rest.

“He’s 100 percent committed to Ohio State,” Garcia said. “If something were to happen, he wanted to have some options.”

Dunn (6-foot-1, 215 pounds) was the fourth player to commit to Ohio State’s 2011 recruiting class. He said there hasn’t been much talk among those who have verbally committed already.

“I don’t think it’s a big concern,” Dunn said. “I don’t think it’s going to affect us. Maybe next year’s (2012) class, but you don’t know if they get hit with something crazy.”