You might think it's surprising to see Aaron Dunn, a former four-star recruit from Spokane, transferring from WSU. You might think it's shocking that he's giving up football to go play basketball at Western Washington. And you're probably wondering why.
First, the news. It comes from Braulio Perez, who worked as a Cougfan correspondent, and did an excellent job, while in Pullman. He's up in Lynden now, working as a sports reporter there.
Former WSU TE Aaron Dunn has accepted a scholarship to play basketball at Western WA. according to their Sports Information Office #Cougs— Braulio Perez (@BraulioEPerez) May 15, 2012
This both is and isn't a cautionary tale about the star system and recruiting. Dunn was an excellent high school tight end, and a very talented athlete, but it never bore out at Washington State.
Everything got off to a rough start for Dunn as he broke his wrist shortly after arriving on campus, forcing him to use a redshirt year. He would've played that year, and probably would've started at one of the two tight end spots. His injury changed some plans. As a result, he rehabbed and came back the next season, but still struggled a bit with injuries.
And then there was the system change. When Dunn arrived on campus, Washington State was using two tight ends and implementing them in more of a blocking role. By the time he returned from injury, the Cougars had switched to a spread attack, and the tight ends basically sat idle. This year, with Leach at the helm, a tight end with Dunn's skillset wasn't going to see the field much.
Dunn is, or was, an excellent blocking tight end. That was his primary skill, despite the athleticism that may point toward a guy that could create mismatches in the route. He likely could've been a solid offensive lineman, going the way of Jake Rodgers, but never seemed to want to go that direction. Football takes its toll after all.
So he decided to hang up his cleats this spring. There was a possibility he could drop down a level and play, but he never really seemed to be into it. Some two months after the decision came down, there was still no movement on the football transfer front.
However, basketball makes a lot of sense. He played in high school, the physical toll isn't as demanding and damaging -- remember, he was suffering through injury after injury -- and he'll still be able to play on scholarship at a school in Washington.
I'm looking forward to seeing Dunn on the basketball court. While I know many were enamored with his star ranking and thought he might be the next big thing on the football field, a move to Western Washington and a sport-switch to basketball is a good thing for Dunn, I think.