Dunn remains committed to Ohio State after Meyer's visit

Todd Porter
Updated: Tuesday, December 13, 2011
GlenOak's Bri'onte Dunn reaffirms his commitment to attend Ohio State.<br /><div id="dfp-300x250" style="float:right;"><script type="text/javascript">googletag.display("dfp-300x250");</script></div>
GlenOak's Bri'onte Dunn reaffirms his commitment to attend Ohio State.

CANTON  On Monday night, it was homemade fried chicken with Se’Von Pittman. Tuesday, the menu included Subway sandwiches and chips with Bri’onte Dunn.

By the time Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer left Stark County, he gained more than a few pounds. He gained about 480 of the most talented pounds of area football players in some time.

A day after Meyer got McKinley’s Pittman to switch from Michigan State to Ohio State, he made sure GlenOak’s Dunn stayed a Buckeye on a barnstorming trip through the county. Over the last 48 hours, Meyer breathed life back into Ohio State’s recruiting class and delivered on his recruiting rock star reputation.

“It’s all over,” a relieved Dunn said after Tuesday night’s dinner. “I always wanted to be a Buckeye. I just needed some questions answered about how they were going to use me.

“And I never met (Meyer) before this weekend. I wanted to get to know him as a person, and I like him.”

Dunn ran out of the I-formation at GlenOak, however, over the last three seasons he has displayed an ability to catch the ball out of the backfield. His receiving skills were highlighted in a playoff loss to Wadsworth when he snagged a pass with one hand.

Despite his 220 pounds, Dunn has a long stride and sneaky speed.

“First of all, he’s a downhill-type of back, but he’s a guy who can do a lot of things. He’s not just a power guy,” GlenOak head coach Scott Garcia said. “The biggest thing I took from this is Urban Meyer’s philosophy is similar to what Ohio State football has been for a long time. It about a great defense, field position and taking care of the football.”

“I’m going to be used in a lot of ways, is what they told me,” Dunn said. “That all depends on me and how good I am. They said they were going to run the ball and mix things up. He explained things real well.”

Dunn committed to former OSU head coach Jim Tressel more than a year ago. When Meyer was hired a few weeks ago, Dunn wanted to explore his options. Michigan head coach Brady Hoke took a strong interest in Dunn.

“The sales pitch is, there’s a perception that Ohio State is broken, and that can’t be further from the truth,” Meyer said during an interview Tuesday afternoon with radio station 97.1 FM The Fan in Columbus. “Ohio State had a great football coach in Jim Tressel. There’s a bunch of good coaches, there’s great facilities. Academically, we’re in fantastic shape. … There’s not a whole lot to fix. It’s still Ohio State.”

Meyer’s pitch is easy.

“My biggest promise to (recruits) is to hire the best coaching staff in America,” he said. “I think they know that. There’s history there where they can look back and say, ‘The one thing he knows how to do is surround himself with big-time quality coaches that can get them where they need to be.’ That’s a big sales point.”

Meyer made recruiting waves Monday night. Pittman, McKinley’s 6-foot-5, 255-pound defensive end, said he was leaning toward Ohio State in the summer. Pittman will enroll at Ohio State in time for spring practice.

Answers to NCAA sanctions played a big part in both players committing to Meyer.

“He told me I didn’t have to worry about sanctions,” Dunn said. “Nothing worse is going to happen.”

In three seasons at GlenOak, Dunn rushed for more than 4,000 yards.

Pittman and Dunn, both two-time All-Ohioans, made an official visit to Ohio State last weekend. Dunn was hosted by Buckeye freshman and McKinley graduate Steve Miller. Pittman was hosted by quarterback Braxton Miller.

“We all hung out and hit it off and got along real well,” Dunn said. “I’m excited to be playing with those guys.

“Then I went and met with Coach Meyer in his office and we had a long conversation. He showed me that he wanted me to be there playing for him.”

In addition to securing Dunn and Pittman, Meyer got Tommy Schutt, a five-star defensive tackle from Glenbard West High School in Illinois to shift his commitment from Penn State to Ohio State.

“The impact?” Meyer said of his two-day recruiting bonanza. “It’s still too early to say. Signing day is a long ways away. Guys are flipping and flopping, and that’s going to happen. I think in a month we’ll know the impact. But we’re jumping the gun if we say, boy, we’re making a big impact now.”

Before Meyer left Stark County, he called Marlington linebacker Dymonte Thomas, just a junior, and offered him. Thomas has verbally committed to Michigan. He is Dunn’s cousin.

“I’m very happy about all of this,” Dunn said. “I’ve been a Buckeye fan since I was a little kid. I’ve always wanted a chance to play for a national championship. I’m happy to be a Buckeye.”ˎ