As a graduate transfer, Dunn is new to Auburn and the SEC, but not new to college football.
“I bring overall experience,” says Dunn, from Trussville. “From a workout standpoint, to an academic standpoint, playing in big games, and performing at a top level.”
At Jacksonville State, Dunn was a two-year starter at center, amassing 27 starts, while being named an All-American his sophomore and junior seasons by Walter Camp, the Associated Press, STATS and the AFCA. In the 2015 campaign, Dunn anchored an offensive line that helped lead Jacksonville State to a national championship game berth.
That FCS national championship game left a mark on Dunn, as the Gamecocks fell to five-time champion North Dakota State 37-10.
“It’s still on my mind; I still get ticked off just thinking about it,” Dunn says. “Going up there and losing pretty big to (No. 2 overall NFL draft pick) Carson Wentz and what he did, it still grinds my gears and keeps me awake at night.”
Dunn graduated with a bachelor’s degree in industrial leadership from Jacksonville State, and is now pursuing a master’s in Auburn’s graduate program in community planning. On a new campus, and with new places to be, Dunn is settling in.
“What was tough for me was getting used to the daily routine,” Dunn says. “Being new here, being in a new grad program, being on a new football team — it’s all an adjustment. But I’ve been here all summer and I’ve gotten pretty used to it.”
At Jacksonville State, Dunn was the starting center for an offense similar to Auburn’s, leading to an easier transition. “At Jacksonville, we were in the spread, and here we run the spread. It’s just learning new terminology.”
Dunn sees Auburn as a great opportunity, and is very pleased to be here, where his brother, Riley, is a senior and sister, Courtney, is a sophomore.
“Coming from an FCS school to possibly starting at an FBS school would be a huge goal,” says Dunn, a Hewitt-Trussville High graduate. “I want to continue to perfect my craft as an offensive lineman. I just want to play. I’m open to play anywhere. Shoot, I’d play running back.”
At Jacksonville State, Dunn played against SEC teams, including Auburn. “I’m definitely looking forward to LSU. They beat Jacksonville pretty good last year; a few things here and there got us beat, and I’d like another shot. Of course, Alabama, too — that’s always a big, exciting game. All of it will be exciting for me. I’m really looking forward to the season ahead.”