SEC: Robert Dunn

Ranking the SEC's best multi-purpose players

November, 19, 2008
11/19/08
5:43
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Chris Low

Here's our ranking of the Top 10 multi-purpose players in the SEC. The more the player does, the higher the ranking. The more productive the player is at more than one position, the higher the ranking. The more dynamic the player is, the higher the ranking:

1. D.J. Moore, Vanderbilt: One of the best cornerbacks in the SEC, Moore is tied for the league lead with six interceptions. He had two touchdown catches against Kentucky as a receiver and leads the Commodores in punt and kickoff return average.

2. Percy Harvin, Florida: The Gators' running back/receiver has scored seven touchdowns rushing and seven touchdowns receiving while piling up 995 all-purpose yards. He's also lined as one of the deep men on punt returns.

3. Javier Arenas, Alabama: One of the Crimson Tide's starting cornerbacks, Arenas has one interception to go along with two punt returns for touchdowns. He's third in the SEC in punt return average and Alabama's leader in kickoff return average.

4. Jeffery Demps, Florida: The Gators' second leading rusher, Demps has five rushing touchdowns and one receiving touchdown. He's blocked two punts, has also returned a handful of punts and kickoffs and plays on the kickoff coverage team.

5. Brandon James, Florida: One of the top return men in the country, James has taken two punts back for touchdowns this season and four during his career. He also has two rushing touchdowns and one receiving touchdown this season.

6. Dexter McCluster, Ole Miss: A fixture in Ole Miss' Wild Rebel package, McCluster splits his time at running back and receiver. He's the Rebels' leading receiver and second leading rusher. He's scored four touchdowns rushing and one touchdown receiving.

7. Derek Pegues, Mississippi State: One of the most versatile defensive backs in the league, Pegues is among the league leaders in both kickoff and punt return average. He has one interception this season and 11 for his career.

8. Mike Wallace, Ole Miss: The Rebels' senior receiver leads the team with a 19.2 yards-per-catch average and has two receiving touchdowns. He also has a kickoff return for a touchdown and is third in the SEC with 1,240 all-purpose yards.

9. Trindon Holliday, LSU: One of the fastest players in the country, the 5-5 Holliday has lined up at both running back and receiver for the Tigers. He has a 92-yard punt return for a touchdown this season and leads LSU in both punt and kickoff return average.

10. Robert Dunn, Auburn: The fourth leading receiver on Auburn's team, Dunn has two touchdown catches this season and is also second in the SEC in punt return average. He returned a punt 66 yards for a touchdown in the Tigers' opener.

SEC in the headlines: Bama braces for Moreno

September, 26, 2008
9/26/08
12:53
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Chris Low

Let's check in around the SEC and see what everybody else is writing and saying:

Many happy returns for Auburn's Dunn

September, 6, 2008
9/06/08
6:46
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Chris Low

AUBURN, Ala. -- Robert Dunn isn't the focal part of the Auburn offense. But at this rate, he might end up being the Tigers' best friend on offense this season.

The speedy senior was an illegal block away from returning a punt for a touchdown for the second straight week Saturday in Auburn's 27-13 win over Southern Miss. As it was, Dunn finished with a career-high 103 yards in punt returns and set up 10 of the Tigers' 27 points with long returns.

Their first touchdown came after he weaved his way for 32 yards to the Southern Miss 26-yard line late in the first quarter. And then early in the third quarter, he reversed his field twice and broke free for what appeared to be a touchdown. But an illegal block by freshman Eric Smith (behind the play) brought it back.

The 47-yard return still got the Tigers close enough for a Wes Byrum 52-yard field goal.

"In the past, I was a little more nervous, trying to make something happen every time I got the ball," said Dunn, who returned one 66 yards for a touchdown in the season-opening win over Louisiana-Monroe. "I might have a chance to get 10 yards, but I'd make a wrong cut or go the wrong way and end up losing 10 yards.

"The only thing I'm trying to do now is get the first 10 yards for the offense. If it turns into a 20-, 30-, 40-yard run ... or a touchdown, then that's all good."

Auburn special teams coach Eddie Gran said Dunn's development as a punt returner goes back to the end of last season when "he started to get it."

Dunn said he and the punt return team also worked hard this summer on the "little things, the small details that make the difference."

Dunn jokes that his approach to returning kicks is pretty straight forward.

"I just run to where nobody's at," he said laughing.

He also has an escort of younger players in front of him trying to make a name for themselves.

"What it boils down to is that we've got a whole bunch of young guys who are hungry to be on the field, and those guys are making some great blocks and putting their bodies on the line every time they come out there," Dunn said. "For the most part, I'm just having to make one guy miss and the rest of the guys are blocked on the field."

Tuberville said the Tigers are using as many fresh players on the return team as possible, as well as a lot of offensive players who are used to using their hands.

"Eddie Gran does a good job," Tuberville said. "Each week, you see a different formation. Some people run that formation where they spread it out across the field. So it takes a lot of adjusting and a lot of practice.

"But again, your returner is the guy. You can't have a successful return game unless you have a good punt-block team, a group that can put pressure on the punter, and then a returner that's got confidence in catching it and running in traffic."

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