Tuesday, March 4, 2008

A "Dunn" Deal

The Atlanta Falcons severed ties yesterday with running back Warrick Dunn. Dunn had requested the release after the Falcons signed free agent, Michael Turner.

At 5' 9" and 187 pounds, Mr. Dunn was always told he was too small to play football. He has proven the detractors wrong at every level.

At Catholic High School in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Dunn played quarterback, cornerback, and running back. During his junior year he helped lead Catholic High to the state AAAA championship game for it's first time in history. He was an All-American honorable mention by USA Today in his senior year.

On January 7, 1993, Dunn's mother Betty Smothers, an off-duty police officer escorting a businesswoman to a bank, was ambushed and killed by armed robbers. Three men were sent to prison for the murder, and two remain on death row. Dunn, two days after his 18th birthday, became the head of his family and raised his siblings. In 2007, Dunn met with one of the convicted men at the Louisiana State Penitentiary.

Dunn chose to attend Florida State University on a full athletic scholarship. He graduated in 1997 with a Bachelor's Degree in Information Studies.

He holds several Florida State rushing records including the marks for most career rushing yards (3,959) and most rushing yards in a season (1,242) set in 1995. Dunn is the only Seminole to rush for over 1,000 yards in three consecutive seasons. He was a three time All-ACC selection.

Dunn was selected in the first round of the 1997 NFL Draft with the 12th overall pick by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In his rookie season Dunn made an immediate impact for the Buccaneers squad. As the year finished he was selected to the NFC Pro Bowl team and was named the Associated Press Offensive Rookie of the Year. Dunn spent the first five years of his career in Tampa Bay where he was named to the Pro Bowl twice (1997,2000) before signing with the Atlanta Falcons in the 2002 off-season. Once again, he made a positive impact on his team with 9 total TDs and in that year, he led the league with a 5.4 yards per carry average. Dunn scored the most rushing touchdowns in his career, 9, in the 2004 season despite splitting carries with T.J. Duckett and also led the team in rushing with 1,106 yards. Having led his team in rushing yards again in 2005, Dunn was named the NFC's Pro Bowl team, marking his third selection to the team. For his career, Dunn has only missed 10 games and has a total of 2,256 carries for 9,461 yards 43 touchdowns and a 4.2 average.

And they said he was too small.............

Dunn has also had a positive influence in the community with the Warrick Dunn Foundation and The Homes for the Holidays Program which helps struggling single moms purchase homes. The program has assisted hundreds of single mothers and children in Baton Rouge, Tampa, and Atlanta.

Mr. Dunn............you will be missed in the ATL.

Dunn's stats...............courtesy of CBS sports:

Warrick Dunn | NFL Football at CBSSports.com

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