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Published: 7/31/2012

Ohio State freshman faces marijuana charge

BY DAVID BRIGGS
BLADE SPORTS WRITER
Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller hands the ball off to running back Bri'onte Dunn during the first day of their spring NCAA college football practice. Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller hands the ball off to running back Bri'onte Dunn during the first day of their spring NCAA college football practice.
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COLUMBUS -- Bri'onte Dunn arrived at Ohio State in January with a five-star pedigree and the prospect of early playing time. But the heralded freshman running back is not helping his case.

Dunn, a Canton GlenOak graduate, was charged with possession of marijuana among four misdemeanors after a weekend traffic stop outside his hometown, becoming the latest Ohio State player to test first-year coach Urban Meyer's hard-line stance on discipline this offseason.

According to an incident report, police in Alliance stopped Dunn, 19, at about 11 p.m. Saturday and found less than 200 grams of marijuana and a wooden pipe. Dunn and an 18-year-old female passenger were both charged with possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, and failing to wear a seat belt. Dunn was also charged with a tail-light infraction.

The report stated Dunn did not come to a complete stop at a four-way intersection, with an officer noting the driver "traveled over the crosswalk ... almost striking my patrol car and almost running the blinking red light." Dunn was not arrested or booked into jail.

An Ohio State spokesman said the school had no comment, and Alliance Police Chief Griffith did not return messages.

Meyer, who was on a retreat with his coaches Monday, has exacted firm punishment against OSU players involved in off-the-field incidents.

Five OSU players have been arrested since Meyer arrived in Columbus, with the punishments ranging from suspension and revocation of a scholarship to dismissal. Most recently, Meyer dismissed linebacker Storm Klein this month after the senior's arrest on misdemeanor charges of domestic violence and assault.

At his introductory press conference in November, Meyer outlined what he called the program's "core values."

"Honesty, respect, No. 1," he said. "Treat everyone with respect. No. 2, no drugs, no stealing, no weapons. Those are core value issues. You're either dismissed or you miss a good bunch of time playing the game. Most everything else is mistakes. Sometimes you're in a college town where things [happen]."

Dunn enrolled at OSU in January and rushed for 32 yards on seven carries in the spring game.

If the 6-foot-2, 215-pound freshman misses time, his absence would deal a blow to Ohio State's backfield depth. Starting tailback Jordan Hall is expected to miss preseason camp -- and possibly the start of the season -- after recently undergoing foot surgery.

Dunn, who rushed more than 5,000 yards in high school and was ranked the No. 32 overall recruit in the nation by Scout.com, was poised to compete for time during camp with top backup Carlos Hyde and Rod Smith.

Contact David Briggs at dbriggs@theblade.com, or 419-724-6084 or on Twitter @DBriggsBlade.



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