December 13, 2012

Wake steals Dunn from UCF

It was the most difficult decision of Wendell Dunn's young life, but the Miami (Fla.) Palmetto outside linebacker switched his commitment from Central Florida to Wake Forest Wednesday, Dec. 12.

"It's crazy, because both head coaches [Jim Grobe and George O'Leary] are great coaches," Dunn said. "The coaching staffs are great. Both campuses are beautiful, but the thing that helped me decide to switch was actually thinking I couldn't give up a degree from Wake Forest."

"With a degree like that I can graduate and have a lot of opportunities and also both coaching staffs were great, but I got a better relationship with Coach [Derrick] Jackson from Wake Forest. We talked a lot, and we had a lot in common."

Ray McCartney was Dunn's primary recruiter for the Demon Deacons, while Jackson also played a significant role in his recruitment for Wake.

"Coach Mac, oh man that guy is crazy," Dunn said. "I had a very good relationship with both of them [Jackson and McCartney], because when I went up on my visit we all talked and we had a great time together."

"Coach Jackson, I call him a lot. They're only allowed to call me once a week, but I have a lot of questions. When we are on the phone we talk a lot. I call him when I have questions, and we always tend to have great conversations. He wants to mold me into a great linebacker. He always tells me about molding me into a great linebacker."

Dunn, who is rated as a two-star recruit by Rivals.com, was one of the few bright spots, as Palmetto battled the injury bug on its way to a 3-7 finish. He recorded 110 tackles, 7.5 sacks, three interceptions and two forced fumbles. Offensively, Dunn amassed 400 yards receiving and nine touchdowns.

"When you're trying to rebuild a program he's one of the top kids that you want," Palmetto head coach Matt Dixon said. "Besides a great football player he's a great teammate. He's a great kid to be around. He's one of those types of kids you had 22 of."

Dixon added he thinks Dunn can contribute right away.

"His [Jackson] expectation is for me to come in and better myself," Dunn said. "He likes what I have right now, but he wants to help me become a great linebacker. His expectation is for me is to become bigger and actually play the outside linebacker to where I could cover and come off the edge way better than I can now. His expectations are pretty high."

"I'm always trying to learn. A lot of people say I'm a good player, I'm this and I'm that and I never let it get to my head. I'm always open to learn. I'm a student of the game basically, so no matter what if a coach has something to tell me I am going to take it in. I am going to use it. I can always get better."

Dunn took his official visit Wake Forest Saturday, Sept. 29, and saw the Deacs play Duke.

Fellow Miami native and Demon Deacon running back DeAndre Martin was Dunn's host during his official visit to Wake.

"Oh man, DeAndre's a great person," Dunn said. "We talked, and DeAndre was cool. He was straightforward with me. He told me everything about Wake. He told me how his recruiting process was. We hung out in his dorm, and played the game together. DeAndre is one of the coolest guys I met."

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