Vaughn McClure, ESPN Staff Writer 19d

Roddy White happy 'amazing' Warrick Dunn to join Ring of Honor

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Folks often talk about how great a teammate running back Warrick Dunn was during his NFL days. Count Roddy White among them.

White, the Atlanta Falcons' all-time leading receiver, played alongside Dunn in Atlanta from 2005-2007, long enough to appreciate the talent and qualities that made Dunn the latest member of the Falcons' Ring of Honor.

"I think it's great," White said of Dunn's Ring of Honor accomplishment. "He was definitely one of the great Falcons players of his tenure and a great leader on and off the field. He was amazing. I loved him as a teammate, and he taught me a lot."

Dunn will become the 10th Falcon to be inducted in the Ring of Honor during a Dec. 7 ceremony, the same night the Falcons host the rival Saints. The Baton Rouge, Louisiana, native originally was the 12th overall pick of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 1997 NFL draft. He signed a free-agent contract with the Falcons in 2002.

During six seasons in Atlanta, Dunn compiled 5,981 rushing yards -- fourth on the franchise’s all-time list -- in 90 games. His 204 receptions are second on the franchise's all-time list among running backs, and his 1,635 receiving yards ranks third. Dunn put together back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons with the Falcons in 2004 and 2005, making the Pro Bowl the latter year.

In '04, Dunn was named the Walter Payton Man of the Year for his community efforts. Through his "Homes for the Holidays" program, Dunn helps single mothers become first-time homeowners by making the down payments on new fully-furnished homes. The program is a tribute to his mother, Betty Smothers, a Baton Rouge police office who was killed in the line of duty in 1993.

Back in December, Dunn talked to ESPN about his best memories as a Falcon:

"I'm sure a lot of people [talk about] when we played the Rams in the playoffs [a 47-17 Falcons win on Jan. 15, 2005]. The atmosphere, it was electric. It was just like Atlanta partied all day. And at night-time, they were on fire. They were lit.

"I just felt like I had a lot of really good games. It's hard to define what the best [moment] was. One thing I always replay is I had a run against the Minnesota Vikings. It was like, 'How did I get around this guy and dive into the end zone?' I don't have no idea what year it was. I'm old."

Dunn turns 43 less than a month after his induction into the Ring of Honor.

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