Four-star senior guard Ryan Dunn had never been to a college football game before attending the Gophers opener vs. Ohio State last week at Huntington Bank Stadium.
The 6-foot-7 New York native was on his official visit with Minnesota's basketball team, but he was blown away by the atmosphere.
"The fan base was big," the Perkiomen School (Penn.) hoops standout said.
It was an important recruiting week for new Gophers coach Ben Johnson's 2022 class with Dunn and New Jersey point guard Jayden Pierre both visiting together. They are former teammates at Long Island Lutheran in New York.
"It was a good visit," Dunn said. "Better than what I expected. The team was cool. The atmosphere was cool. Coaches were great. It was a fun experience."
Dunn narrowed down his list last month to eight schools: Minnesota, Pittsburgh, Virginia, South Carolina, Oklahoma State, Georgetown, Boston College, and Maryland. He's visiting Virginia this weekend, but he has no timetable when an announcement will come on his college choice.
The Gophers have three commitments in the 2022 class, with Park of Cottage Grove big man Pharrel Payne, Park Center guard Braeden Carrington and former Osseo wing Joshua Ola-Joseph, who transferred to Prolific Prep in California.
Dunn, who spoke to the Star Tribune for a Q&A recently, is one of the biggest rising seniors after reclassifying. He went from unranked in the 2021 class to No. 95 in 247Sports composite 2022 ranking this summer.
Q: How did you enjoy the atmosphere at Huntington Bank Stadium?
A: It was my first football game ever. So, seeing all those people at the football game and everyone told me just wait for the basketball season. I could tell that the fan base in Minnesota was really big for them. They're really big on sports. That would be really cool for me to play in front of a big fan base.
Q: What was your experience like hanging out with the Gophers players?
A: The team was really cool. They welcomed me and my friend, Jayden Pierre. We were able to ask questions and talk a little bit. We played pickup. That was cool to see how they play. They are all good guys.
Q: The Gophers haven't played their first game under Ben Johnson, but what do you know about their playing style?
A: I think they will have a philosophy of getting up and down. He's talked to me about his philosophy and how he would use me coming off ball screens and stuff. And how me being on the wing for him could be big.
Q: When would be the earliest you could decide?
A: I have no clue yet. I'm still just waiting to talk to my parents and coaches. Going to see some other schools. Just being able to decide from there. I have nothing [to announce] yet.
Q: What did you think about reclassifying to the 2022 class?
A: I think it's great that guys who want to are able to get to college early. I think if I were able to I would think about it with my parents, if I wanted to stay back and get ready for college or go right away.
Q: How did you feel about your play this summer with the New York Jayhawks AAU team?
A: My parents, friends and teammates always kept me level-headed. Whenever I felt down about the recognition that I never got they would tell me to just wait. So, I just stayed humble even when it came. I think the summer has been really big for me. Coming out nobody knew who I was, but now I'm one of the top kids in the country. But I still have that mindset of I don't have anything right now. I never try to be above anybody. I just keep myself humble and level-headed.
Q: How would you describe your game to Gophers fans?
A: Very versatile. I would say a wing that could do many things. Try to score at all three levels. I bring high intensity to the court. I try to have fun wherever I play and wherever I go. I try to bring joy to my teammates, and make it fun for the fans.
Q: Did the Gophers compare you to current NBA guard Amir Coffey?
A: That's what they said. They see me playing a lot like him. They see a lot of Amir Coffey in me.
Q: How close are you with Jayden Pierre?
A: I knew about him two years ago. Being teammates with him was good. We played a couple games together. We had a close relationship talking a little bit. That was fun being on a visit for the first time with someone I know.
Q: This is the only school you're visiting together. Would it influence your decision if he picked the Gophers?
A: At the end of the day, it's our decision. It would be really cool for us to come together and play for another two, three or four years. But I think we're just going to take our time and think about it. If he commits there and I do, it would be great for us. But even if we commit in different spots, I still care for him. He cares for me. I think it would be cool for us to team up together again at Minnesota in the Big Ten.