Four years ago Brandon Dunn had committed to play his college football at the University of Kentucky. He was going to UK as a grey shirt, not counting as a scholarship player for a semester, waiting his chance to play the following year.
That was before the 6-foot-3, 300-pound graduate of Pleasure Ridge Park was approached by Charlie Strong with an immediate scholarship. “Within 10 minutes I was a Louisville Cardinal,” he said.
Not a second thought about going to UK after that. ”I went for the scholarship to play for the team I wanted to play for,” he said.
The defensive tackle acknowledges the atmosphere at Commonwealth Stadium on Saturday will be super charged.
“It’s different, obviously. At the end of the day, we’re there for just one goal, and that’s to win,” he said. ”There’s going to be a lot of juice and a lot of talk but collectively as a team, we should understand that it’s just another game.”
He says the key to an effective defense is being aggressive. “We want to be out there flying around and having fun,” he explained. “There’s a lot of trash talk between our players, not against the other team, we’re competing against each other for tackles. I look to the right and I tell Roy (Philon) I’m going to get this tackle. It’s a just a fun aggressive defense.
“The UK game is an away game for me, but it’s a ‘home game’ for Roy being from Lexington. I know how he’s feeling about this game. It’s his senior year. We want to send him out on the right note so he can be comfortable the rest of the year.”
Dunn saw his first action as a Cardinal in a 23-16 loss to UK in 2009. He also wants to end his participation in the rivalry on a positive note, with three consecutive wins over the Wildcats.