Warrick Dunn

Last updated

Warrick Dunn
Warrick Dunn cropped.jpg
Dunn signing autographs in 2009
No. 28
Position: Running back
Personal information
Born: (1975-01-05) January 5, 1975 (age 48)
New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.
Height:5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Weight:187 lb (85 kg)
Career information
High school: Catholic
(Baton Rouge, Louisiana)
College: Florida State (1993–1996)
NFL Draft: 1997  / Round: 1 / Pick: 12
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Rushing yards:10,967
Rushing average:4.1
Rushing touchdowns:49
Player stats at NFL.com

Warrick De'Mon Dunn (born January 5, 1975) is an American former professional football player who was a running back in the National Football League (NFL) for twelve seasons. He was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 12th overall in the 1997 NFL Draft, after playing college football for the Florida State Seminoles. Dunn was named AP NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year in 1997 and earned three Pro Bowl selections in his career. After his playing career, Dunn took a minority stake in the Falcons' ownership group led by Arthur Blank.


Early years

At Catholic High in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Dunn played quarterback, cornerback, and running back. During his sophomore year, he helped lead Catholic High to the state 4A championship game for the first time in its history. He was an All-America honorable mention selection by USA Today as a senior.

On January 7, 1993, two days after Dunn's eighteenth birthday, his mother Betty Smothers, a Baton Rouge Police Officer, was murdered while working an off-duty security job. Dunn became the head of his family and raised his siblings. He later met with one of his mother's killers, Kevan Brumfield, and offered his forgiveness. [1]

College career

Dunn played college football at Florida State University, where he rushed for over 1,000 yards in 3 straight seasons. He graduated in 1997 with a bachelor's degree in information studies. He was a three-time All-ACC selection.

Dunn's jersey, along with those of other Seminoles players such as Fred Biletnikoff, Ron Sellers, Ron Simmons, Charlie Ward, Deion Sanders, and Chris Weinke, has been retired by the university. His number (28) may still be worn by Seminole players, but his jersey will be displayed in the Moore Athletic Center at FSU. He also won a national championship in 1993 with Florida State.

Track and field

Warrick Dunn was also an accomplished track and field star, named as an Associated Press All-American as a member of Florida State's men's 4x100m relay team. Dunn competed on the Seminoles' track & field team as a sprinter during all four years he was enrolled at Florida State. His personal best in the 100 meters is 10.3 seconds.

College statistics

1993 12685117.54253576
1994 111521,0266.88343081
1995 111661,2427.513432943
1996 111891,1806.212303552

Professional career

Pre-draft measurables
HeightWeightArm lengthHand span
5 ft 8 in
(1.73 m)
176 lb
(80 kg)
30+34 in
(0.78 m)
8+12 in
(0.22 m)
All values from NFL Combine [2]

First stint with Buccaneers

Dunn was selected in the first round of the 1997 NFL Draft with the 12th overall pick by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Dunn had a highly successful rookie season, was selected to the NFC Pro Bowl team, and named the Associated Press Offensive Rookie of the Year. Dunn spent the next four years of his career in Tampa Bay, and was again named to the Pro Bowl in 2000. In game 13 of that season, he had a career-best 210 yards rushing against the Dallas Cowboys (then, 2nd most in franchise history).

Atlanta Falcons

A free agent in the 2002 offseason, Dunn signed with the Atlanta Falcons. 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. Dunn finished his first 10 seasons with over 1,000 combined rushing and receiving yards. During the 2007 season, with Falcons starting quarterback Byron Leftwich out with a high ankle sprain, Dunn served as the third string emergency quarterback behind Joey Harrington and Chris Redman, a position he played in high school.

On March 3, 2008, the Falcons released Dunn per his request. This came a day after the Falcons signed former San Diego Chargers backup running back Michael Turner. [3] On December 17, 2009, he became a minority owner of the Atlanta Falcons.

Second stint with Buccaneers

On March 10, 2008, Dunn returned to the Buccaneers after signing a two-year, $6 million contract. In week 6 against the Carolina Panthers, Dunn had his first 100-yard game since re-joining the Buccaneers. Dunn was released by the Buccaneers on February 25, 2009. [4] He retired from the NFL 14th all-time in all-purpose yards with 15,306 (20th As of 2020) and 19th in rushing yards with 10,967 (23rd As of 2020[update] ).

NFL career statistics

1997 TB 162249784.4764343946211.85931832
1998 TB 162451,0264.250242443447.83102210
1999 TB 151956163.233029645899.26822932
2000 TB 162481,1334.670842444229.64512311
2001 TB 131584472.821320685578.23132922
2002 ATL 152309274.059739503777.53121543
2003 ATL 111256725.469327373369.18621421
2004 ATL 162651,1064.2609462929410.1590932
2005 ATL 162801,4165.165365292207.6241831
2006 ATL 162861,1404.090448221707.71811110
2007 ATL 162277203.238434372386.4350522
2008 TB 151867864.240231473307.03601100
Career [5] 1812,66910,9674.190494575104,3398.586151942516

Falcons franchise records

As of 2017[update] 's NFL off-season, Warrick Dunn has held at least 11 Falcons franchise records, including:

Buccaneers franchise records

He also has held at least 5 Buccaneers franchise records, including:

Personal life

Dunn established the Homes for the Holidays (HFTH) program in 1997, and started Warrick Dunn Charities (WDC) in 2002 as a way to grow programs and services. The HFTH program rewards single-parent families for reaching first-time homeownership. HFTH recipient families are chosen through a partnership with Habitat for Humanity affiliates and WDC with complete home furnishings and down-payment assistance. As of July 2012, HFTH has assisted over 150 single parents and over 300 dependents in Atlanta, Baton Rouge, Tampa and Tallahassee. By providing families with a positive home environment, WDC believes that children can thrive educationally, socially and economically. In 2006, one of those homes happened to go to the family of future NFL player Deshaun Watson. Watson went on to play quarterback for Clemson and win the 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship. [6]

Dunn's achievements have been recognized over the years. He received a Giant Steps Award in civic leadership from former President Bill Clinton for his program. In 2005, Dunn was presented with the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award. This award is the only NFL award that recognizes a player for his community service as well as for his excellence on the field. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Dunn challenged all NFL players, except for those who play for the New Orleans Saints, to donate at least $5,000 to the effort. The effort received over $5 million in contributions.

In 2007, Dunn, along with Andre Agassi, Muhammad Ali, Lance Armstrong, Jeff Gordon, Mia Hamm, Tony Hawk, Andrea Jaeger, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Mario Lemieux, Alonzo Mourning and Cal Ripken Jr., founded Athletes for Hope, a charitable organization that helps professional athletes, sports industry professionals and fans get involved in charitable causes. For his exceptional involvement on and off the field, Dunn was awarded with the 2009 Bart Starr Award. He also received a Jefferson Award for Outstanding Athlete in Service and Philanthropy in 2011.


Dunn's 2008 autobiography, Running For My Life ISBN   978-0-06-143264-4, details his mother's murder and his battles with depression throughout his life. [7]

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Atlanta Falcons</span> National Football League franchise in Atlanta, Georgia

The Atlanta Falcons are a professional American football team based in Atlanta. The Falcons compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league's National Football Conference (NFC) South division. The Falcons joined the NFL in 1965 as an expansion team, after the NFL offered then-owner Rankin Smith a franchise to keep him from joining the rival American Football League (AFL).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Mike Alstott</span> American football player (born 1973)

Michael Joseph Alstott, is an American former professional football player who was a fullback in the National Football League (NFL) for 12 seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Nicknamed "A-Train", he played college football at Purdue and was selected by the Buccaneers in the second round of the 1996 NFL Draft. Alstott received six Pro Bowl and three first-team All-Pro honors during his career, in addition to being part of the Buccaneers team that won the franchise's first Super Bowl title in Super Bowl XXXVII. For his accomplishments in Tampa Bay, he was inducted to the Buccaneers Ring of Honor in 2015. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest fullbacks of all time.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Derrick Brooks</span> American football player and executive (born 1973)

Derrick Dewan Brooks is an American former professional football player who was an outside linebacker for his entire 14-year career in the National Football League (NFL) with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Brooks played college football at Florida State, where he twice received consensus All-American honors, and was selected by the Buccaneers in the first round of the 1995 NFL Draft. An 11-time Pro Bowl selection and five-time first-team All-Pro, Brooks was the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2002 en route to winning the franchise's first Super Bowl title in Super Bowl XXXVII. Following his retirement, Brooks served as co-owner and president of the Tampa Bay Storm in the Arena Football League (AFL) from 2011 to 2017. He was inducted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2014 and the College Football Hall of Fame in 2016.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Allen Rossum</span> American football player (born 1975)

Allen Bonshaca Lamont Rossum is a former American football cornerback and return specialist. He was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in the third round of the 1998 NFL Draft. He played college football at Notre Dame.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Brad Johnson (American football)</span> American football player (born 1968)

James Bradley Johnson is an American former professional football player who was a quarterback for 17 season in the National Football League (NFL), Johnson played for the Minnesota Vikings, Washington Redskins, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Dallas Cowboys. He is best known for his time with the Buccaneers, whom he led to their Super Bowl XXXVII title over the Oakland Raiders.

Darrien Jamal Gordon is a former professional American Football player who played cornerback for 10 seasons in the National Football League (NFL) (1993–2002). During his NFL career, he played for 5 different teams and in 4 Super Bowls. Before his NFL career, Gordon played for Stanford University, where he intercepted 9 passes in three seasons. Since the NFL Scouting Combine began in 1985, he is one of three players who have been drafted in the first round after not being invited to the combine.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Rich McKay</span> American football executive

Richard James McKay is an American football executive who is the president and CEO of the Atlanta Falcons of the National Football League (NFL). Prior to joining the Falcons, he was the general manager of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 1994 to 2003 and was a part of their Super Bowl XXXVII-winning season.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Antone Smith</span> American football player (born 1985)

Antone Smith is a former American football running back. He played high school football for Pahokee. Smith was considered an All American 5 star running back and was named Mr.Florida. He went on to play college football at Florida State. Smith was signed by the Detroit Lions as an undrafted free agent in 2009. He has also been a member of the Minnesota Vikings, Houston Texans, Atlanta Falcons, Chicago Bears, New York Jets, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Earnest Graham</span> American football player (born 1980)

Earnest Graham Jr. is an American former college and professional football player who was a running back in the National Football League (NFL) for eight seasons. He played college football for the University of Florida, and was signed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as an undrafted free agent in 2003. Graham became a favorite among Buccaneers fans, coaches, and fellow players for his hard work and team-first attitude.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Kynan Forney</span> American football player (born 1978)

Kynan Lerrol Forney is a former American football player. He was drafted by the Atlanta Falcons in the seventh round of the 2001 NFL Draft. He played college football at Hawaii. He also played for the San Diego Chargers.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">2006 Atlanta Falcons season</span> NFL team season; final one with Michael Vick

The 2006 Atlanta Falcons season was the franchise's 41st in the National Football League (NFL). The team attempted to improve on their 8–8 record in 2005.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Matt Ryan (American football)</span> American football player (born 1985)

Matthew Thomas Ryan, nicknamed "Matty Ice", is an American football quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Boston College, where he won the Manning and Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Awards as a senior, and was selected by the Atlanta Falcons third overall in the 2008 NFL Draft. As a member of the Falcons for 14 seasons, Ryan holds several franchise records with the team including passing yards, passing touchdowns, passer rating, and wins.

The 1977 Chicago Bears season was their 58th regular season completed in the National Football League. The team finished with a 9–5 record, which was their first winning season since 1967 and earned them a wild card spot against the Dallas Cowboys, who eventually beat the Bears en route to a Super Bowl victory. This was their first postseason appearance since winning the 1963 championship. They secured this by winning their last six games, including among others the last of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ record run of twenty-six losses.

This article details the history of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers American football franchise.

The 2000 Tampa Bay Buccaneers season was the franchise's 25th season in the National Football League (NFL).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Jerious Norwood</span> American gridiron football player (born 1983)

Jerious Montreal Norwood is a former American football running back. He was drafted by the Atlanta Falcons in the third round of the 2006 NFL Draft. He played college football at Mississippi State and is the schools second all-time leading rusher.

The 1999 Philadelphia Eagles season was the franchise's 67th season in the National Football League, and the first under head coach Andy Reid. The team finished 5–11 and last place in the NFC East. The Eagles hired Andy Reid away from the Green Bay Packers to be their new head coach prior to the start of the season. In the 1999 NFL Draft, the team drafted quarterback Donovan McNabb with the second overall pick. Prior to McNabb taking over the starting role, the Eagles were quarterbacked by future head coach Doug Pederson, who led the Eagles to the win in Super Bowl LII. This would be the last year they missed the playoffs until 2005.

The 2004 Atlanta Falcons season was the franchise's 39th in the National Football League (NFL). It was the first year under head coach Jim Mora. Under Mora, the team went 11–5, advancing to the playoffs. After easily handling the 8–8 St. Louis Rams in the Divisional round, the Falcons advanced to the NFC Championship game for the first time since 1998, but lost to the Philadelphia Eagles. The Falcons did not make the postseason again until 2008 and would not appear in the NFC Championship again until 2012.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Jameis Winston</span> American football player (born 1994)

Jameis Lanaed Winston is an American football quarterback for the New Orleans Saints of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Florida State, where he became the youngest player to win the Heisman Trophy and led his team to victory in the 2014 BCS National Championship Game during his freshman year. Declaring for the NFL after his sophomore season, Winston was selected first overall by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 2015 NFL Draft.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Devonta Freeman</span> American football player (born 1992)

Devonta Cornellius Freeman is an American football running back who is a free agent. He played college football at Florida State and was drafted by the Atlanta Falcons in the fourth round of the 2014 NFL Draft.


  1. Gary Shelton (December 16, 2007). "Confronting his pain". St. Petersburg Times . Retrieved December 17, 2007.
  2. "Warrick Dunn, Combine Results, RB - Florida State". nflcombineresults.com. Retrieved January 20, 2022.
  3. Wyche, Steve (March 3, 2008). "Falcons release Warrick Dunn". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved March 3, 2008.
  4. Bucs Release Derrick Brooks, 4 Others Yahoo Sports, February 25, 2009
  5. "Warrick Dunn Stats". ESPN Internet Ventures. Retrieved March 11, 2014.
  6. Matthew Chambers (January 10, 2017). "Former Falcon's RB Warrick Dunn donated house to DeShaun Watson's family". thefalcoholic.com. Retrieved January 12, 2017.
  7. Dunn Finds Closure After Tragedy ESPN.com, January 25, 2009