Warrick Dunn: Career
A Love of Football
Dunn loved to run track and play football when he was a child but he also played some basketball. His love for football began when he was seven years old in the neighborhood streets of Baton Rouge with friends. Running track was a big part of Dunn’s childhood and one day his speed was realized by youth football coach, Maelen “Choo Choo” Brooks, who invited him to play on the Pee Wee team in the Rams youth league.
Dunn continued to play football throughout his childhood and into high school at Catholic High School (Baton Rouge, La.). By the end of his senior year, Dunn was a Co-MVP of his district and parish and was voted Honorable Mention All-USA by USA Today.
Catholic High School Senior Season Stats
Played cornerback, quarterback and running back
1,541 rushing yards on 155 carries
Passed for 701 yards and four scores
Averaged 27.7 yards per kickoff return
As one of the top 10 high school football players in Louisiana, Dunn went on to sign with Florida State University in February 1993 as a running back. During his freshman year he helped their team quarterback, Heisman Trophy winner and roommate Charlie Ward, win the National Championship for the 1993-1994 season. This was only the beginning of Dunn’s successful college athletic career, where he later was inducted to the Florida State University Hall of Fame.
- Three-time first-team All-ACC performer as he became the first back in Florida State history to record three 1,000-yard rushing seasons
- Finished as Seminoles’ career leader in rushing yards, gaining 3,959 yards to surpass Greg Allen’s 3,769 (1981-84)
- Averaged 6.9 yards per carry as a collegian, a Seminole record and the top mark by a NCAA Division 1-A player (minimum 300 carries) in 50 years (Army's Glenn Davis, 8.3 avg., 1943-46)
- Considered one of nation's top pass-catching backs, snaring 132 career receptions for 1,314 yards
- Scored 47 touchdowns in four FSU seasons, 37 rushing and 10 receiving, to break Allen's previous school record of 46
- Broke Allen's school mark for all-purpose yards (4,996) with a total of 5,321.
- Secured 21 100-yard rushing games, the most in Seminole history.
- Earned first-team All-America for the third consecutive year after rushing 189 times for 1,180 yards with 12 touchdowns and adding 30 catches for 355 yards with two touchdowns as a senior. Presented with the conference's Commissioner's Award for his efforts
- Averaged 112.9 rushing yards per game en route to breaking school single-season records for rushing yards (1,242) and yards per carry (7.5) as a junior. Rushed 166 times and scored a career-best 13 touchdowns on the ground. Also broke Seminole season records for 100-yard rushing games (eight) and consecutive 100-yard games (six)
With a remarkable running style and dominating performance, Dunn is one of the most recognized names to wear the garnet and gold. Despite his modest size, Dunn’s athleticism, incomparable drive and personality convinced Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Tony Dungy to select him in the first round of the 1997 draft as the twelfth overall pick.
1997 Season (Buccaneers)
- Started 10 of 16 games as he led the team in both receptions and rushing. Gained 978 rushing yards on 224 carries (4.4 avg.) with four touchdowns and 462 receiving yards on 39 receptions with three touchdowns
- Combined yardage total of 1,440 set a Buccaneer rookie record and was the fourth-highest single-season mark in team history
- Earned Pro Bowl honors and was named NFL Rookie of the Year by Football News, Pro Football Weekly and Sports Illustrated. Also honored as designative Offensive Rookie of the Year by the Associated Press, Football Digest and College and Pro Football Newsweekly
- Tied James Wilder (1984 and '85) and Ricky Bell (1979) for the team record of five 100-yard rushing performances
- Earned NFC Offensive Rookie of the Month honors for September
- Received NFC Offensive Player of the Week honors following the Week 2 contest at Detroit (9/7) in which he collected 130 yards on 24 carries (5.4 avg.)
- Recorded consecutive 100-yard rushing performances with 101 yards and one touchdown on 16 carries (6.3 avg.) at Minnesota (9/14)
- Caught six passes for 106 yards, including a 58-yard touchdown reception, vs. Miami (9/21)
- Broke the 100-yard rushing mark for his third time of the season with 125 yards and one touchdown on 16 carries (7.8 avg.) at Green Bay (10/5)
- Accounted for 169 total yards of offense behind a 120-yard rushing performance on 24 carries (5.0 avg.) at NY Giants (11/30)
- Finished the season vs. Chicago (12/21) with 119 yards on 16 touches, including a 76-yard run in the third quarter
- Led the team in rushing in both playoff contests, first with 72 yards on 18 carries vs. Detroit (12/28), then with 64 yards on 18 attempts at Green Bay (1/4).
1998 Season (Buccaneers)
- Started 14 of 16 games and led the team in rushing for the second consecutive season with 1,026 yards on 245 carries (4.2 avg.) with two touchdowns
- Finished ninth in the NFC for rushing yardage and eighth in total yards from scrimmage (1,370) after catching 44 passes for 344 yards
- Became the first primary rusher in team history to average over 4.0 yards per carry for two consecutive seasons
- Registered 17 carries for 96 rushing yards (5.6 avg.) vs. Carolina (10/18)
- Posted his first 100-yard game of the season vs. Minnesota (11/1), rushing for 115 yards and one touchdown on 18 carries (6.4). Joined up with FB Mike Alstott to become the first pair of backs in team history to have 100-yard outings in the same game
- Recorded his second 100-yard rushing game in three weeks at Jacksonville (11/15), running for 107 yards on 16 carries (6.7 avg.)
- Finished the season with 89 yards on 19 carries at Cincinnati (12/27) as he surpassed the 1,000-yard mark for the first time in his career.
1999 Season (Buccaneers)
- Started all 15 games played and rushed for 616 yards on 195 carries while recording 589 yards (9.2 avg.) on a team-high 64 receptions with two touchdowns
- Missed one contest (ankle) vs. Minnesota (12/6)
- Assumed kickoff return duties during Tampa Bay's playoff push, averaging 19.5 yards on eight returns
- Rushed for a season-high 82 yards on 24 carries at Philadelphia (9/19)
- Posted nine catches for 82 yards in a victory vs. Denver (9/26)
- Tallied 11 receptions for 77 yards at Detroit (10/31)
- Snagged six passes for 115 yards and one touchdown in a 23-16 win vs. Detroit (12/12). Turned a screen pass into a 68-yard jaunt, setting up Tampa Bay's first touchdown just before halftime.
2000 Season (Buccaneers)
- Played in 16 games with 14 starts, finishing the season with a career-high and team-best 1,133 rushing yards on 248 attempts (4.6 avg.) with eight touchdowns. Also ranked third on the team with 44 receptions for 422 yards (9.6 avg.) and one touchdown
- Named to the Pro Bowl for the second time in his career
- Gained 366 yards in the first half of the season, but more than doubled that output over the last eight games (767 yards). Averaged just under one rushing touchdown per game over that eight-game stretch after finding the end zone
- Picked up rushing duties with FB Mike Alstott out with an injury and had 20 rushes for 106 yards (5.3 avg.) and two rushing touchdowns vs. Buffalo (11/26)
- Topped the 100-yard rushing mark for the second consecutive week vs. Dallas (12/3) with a career-high 210 yards on 22 carries (9.5 avg.) and two touchdowns. The 210 yards surpassed his previous career-best of 130 yards rushing at Detroit (9/7/97) and ranked as the second-best single-game effort in Bucs history
- Played a spectacular game on Monday Night vs. St. Louis (12/18), reaching the 1,000-yard mark for the second time in his career with 145 yards on 22 carries (6.6 avg.) and a career-high three touchdowns. Also had five receptions for 53 yards
2001 Season (Buccaneers)
- Played in 13 games with 12 starts and rushed for 447 yards on 158 carries with three touchdowns. Ranked second on the team with a career-high 68 catches for 557 yards and three scores
- Did not play (foot/hamstring) vs. Philadelphia (9/16) vs. Green Bay (10/7) and vs. Minnesota (10/28). Played but did not start at Tennessee (10/14)
- Recorded a career-high 12 receptions for 138 yards vs. Chicago (11/18). The 138 receiving yards was the best single-game total for a running back in team history
- Posted nine receptions for 54 yards vs. Detroit (12/9)
- Led the team with eight catches for 37 yards in the playoff game at Philadelphia (1/12/02)
- Finished his career in Tampa Bay ranked second all-time with 4,200 career rushing yards and fifth on the Bucs all-time receptions list with 259 career catches for 2,384 yards. His 26 career touchdowns for the Bucs rank sixth all-time while his 17 rushing touchdowns are fifth
Dunn became an unrestricted free agent after his 2001 season with the Buccaneers and, after tough negotiations, he signed with the Atlanta Falcons on March 15, 2002.
2002 Season (Falcons)
- Played and started in 15 games, totaling 927 yards on 230 carries (4.0 avg.) with seven touchdowns and a long run of 59t. Also caught 50 passes for 377 yards and two touchdowns
- Totaled four 100-yard rushing games on the season
- Rushed for a season-high 142 yards on 23 carries at New Orleans (10/27). It was the 11th 100-yard rushing game of his career. Also caught a team-leading five passes for 28 yards
- Gained 129 yards rushing on 20 carries, including a 59-yard scoring run, and caught three passes for 14 yards at Pittsburgh (11/10). Scored on a 59-yard touchdown run in the third quarter, which was the longest touchdown run by a Falcons player since RB Bubba Bean scored a 60-yarder vs. Tampa Bay on November 4, 1979
- Dressed but did not play (ankle) at Tampa Bay (12-8)
- Returned to the starting lineup vs. Seattle (12/15) and rushed 20 times for 101 yards and caught six passes for 45 yards
- Recorded a team-high 132 yards rushing on 30 carries (4.4 avg.) with one touchdown vs. Detroit (12/22). The 132 yards rushing marked his second consecutive 100-yard rushing game and his fourth of the season. The 30 rushing attempts were a career-high, besting the 28 attempts he had at Miami (12/10/00)
- Started and led the team in rushing and receptions in two combined playoff games with 109 yards rushing and 10 catches.
2003 Season (Falcons)
- Started six of 11 games played, totaling 672 rushing yards on 125 carries (5.4 avg.) and three rushing touchdowns with a long rush of 69t. Also caught 37 passes for 336 yards and three scores, including a team-high 86-yard touchdown catch
- Named NFC Offensive Player of the Week by the NFL for his performance in a 27-7 victory at New York Giants (11/9) when he gained 178 yards on 25 rushes with one touchdown, which was the sixth-highest rushing total in a single game in Falcons history and the most since Jamal Anderson's 188 yards against St. Louis (11/29/98). It also marked the second most yards gained in a game to the 210 yards he had vs. Dallas (12/3/00) and the third NFC honor in his career
- The following week at New Orleans (11/16/03) he rushed for 162 yards on 23 carries to total 340 yards in two consecutive games to set a new club mark, surpassing Jamal Anderson's 310 yards in back-to-back contests in 1998
- Rushed six times for 82 yards vs. New Orleans (10/19), including a 69-yard touchdown run, which was the longest touchdown run in Falcons history and the second longest run from scrimmage ever by a Falcons player
- Accounted for the Falcons longest play of the season with an 86-yard reception vs. Tennessee (11/23). The 86-yard catch represented a career-high and was tied for the fifth longest pass completion ever in team annals. Totaled 129 yards receiving on nine receptions for the fourth 100-yard receiving game of his career and his first as a Falcons player. Forced to leave the Tennessee game with a foot injury in the fourth quarter and was eventually placed on injured reserve on November 25. Underwent surgery on November 30 to correct foot injury.
2004 Season (Falcons)
- Started all 16 games for the first time in his career, recording 265 carries for 1,106 yards (4.2 avg.) with nine rushing touchdowns in addition to 29 receptions for 294 yards. His 265 carries and nine touchdowns were both career-highs
- Posted the third 1,000-yard season of his career (1998 and 2000) as he moved into fifth-place on the Falcons all-time rushing charts with 2,705 yards
- Registered a postseason career-high with 142 rushing yards, including the longest postseason run in team history (62 yards), in the NFC Divisional Playoff Game vs. St. Louis (1/15/05)
- Tallied 19 carries for 63 yards and two touchdowns at San Francisco (9/12).
- Rushed 14 times for 43 yards and two touchdowns vs. St. Louis (9/19). It marked the fifth time in his career that he has rushed for two touchdowns in one game
- Had 20 carries for 117 yards (5.9 avg.) with a season-long of 60 yards in addition to two receptions for 20 yards vs. Arizona (9/26)
- Recorded 16 carries for 76 yards, including a 38-yard touchdown run, at Carolina (10/3)
- Posted 18 carries for 44 yards with one touchdown and five receptions for 31 yards vs. Detroit (10/10)
- Had two receptions for 72 yards and 11 carries for 49 yards at Kansas City (10/24)
- Tallied 15 carries for 33 yards, including a five-yard touchdown run, at Denver (10/31)
- Recorded 25 carries for 103 yards vs. Oakland (12/12)
- Rushed 28 times for a season-high 134 yards and one touchdown vs. Carolina (12/18). The performance marked the fifth back-to-back 100+ game in his career
- Caught a season-high six passes for 87 yards while rushing 18 times for 52 yards with one touchdown at New Orleans (12/26). The touchdown marked a career-high nine rushing scores on the season and his 59-yard catch was the second longest reception on the season
- Had 25 carries for 132 yards and caught three passes for 19 yards at Seattle (1/2). It was his fourth 100-yard game of the season and the 20th of his career
- Established a Falcons postseason record and career-high 142 rushing yards on 17 carries with two touchdowns in the NFC Divisional Playoff Game vs. St. Louis (1/15/05). His 62-yard touchdown was the longest rush and longest touchdown run in Falcons postseason history
- Carried 15 times for 59 yards and one touchdown at Philadelphia (1/23/05) in the NFC Championship Game.
After six seasons with the Falcons, Warrick played his final NFL season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He became the 22nd player in NFL history to reach the 10,000 rushing yard and 4,000 receiving yard plateau.