Under The Helmet with Norwich University Quarterback Matt Dunn
By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports
In the words of Norwich University sophomore quarterback Matt Dunn, the Cadets current season has been a “decent” one so far.
Dunn has helped the Cadets enjoy a “decent” campaign by leading the Maroon and Gold on seven touchdown drives, including four two weeks ago during his team’s epic back and forth affair with Coast Guard Academy.
Against Coast Guard, Dunn tossed a career-high four touchdown passes, while completing 23 of 35 passes for 274 yards. His 23 completions and 274 passing yards were also career-bests, too.
Unfortunately, the Cadets fell to the Bears, 38-35, on a late touchdown drive that helped Coast Guard erase a four-point deficit with nine seconds remaining. But despite the setback, Dunn and his teammates seem to be thinking optimistically about their remaining games by keeping the focus on improving every day.
“Coach (Brian) Hayes, Coach (Greg) Vreeland, Coach (Sam) Chaves, and Coach (Kyle) Smesko are excellent coaches that put us in the best possible position to do well,” Dunn explained.
“All we need to do is execute on what they say (going forward), which I believe we have done for the past couple weeks. (We also) need to continue to do (what we are being taught in practice) for the remainder of the season, too.”
Prior to this past weekend’s conference clash with Springfield College, we caught-up with Dunn to discuss his second season with the Cadets.
Who has helped you improve as a quarterback this season? Do you feel you’re a better quarterback than you were last season?
There have been a lot of people that have helped me improve as a quarterback, starting with Coach Hayes. He always helps us with our craft and makes sure we are doing the little things right correctly. Coach Hayes knows the game and the position, and when you do what he says you can really see the results.
Also, I credit my fellow quarterbacks Jeff Baldassari, Matt Chaffee, Hunter Powers, and Grant Willard, who are great teammates to lean on. We all help each other out every day with the focus on getting better and correcting mistakes. We are a tight group that loves to compete and we certainly make each other better.
I also owe a lot to my father for helping me improve, not only as a quarterback, but also as a player and teammate, too. I talk to him every day about football, school, military, other sports and life, and he always has the best advice for me. He keeps me centered after every game telling me what he saw and what I can improve on. He has always been a huge part of my success and I can’t thank him enough for that.
Everyone I mentioned (above) has and will continue to play a big roll in making me a better quarterback.
Have you always played quarterback? If not, what other positions have you played over the years before focusing on quarterback?
Last season I played wide receiver after switching from playing quarterback for my entire life. I love being a part of every play on the offense, whether it is throwing the ball, running the ball or handing it off. I just like being involved. I give props to my linemen on offense and defense, who are constantly battling in the trenches on every play. I also give credit to the running backs and linebackers that go up against each other every day, too. And of course, I can’t forget my receivers and defensive backs that are the most athletic players on the field.
Being from Massachusetts, is it fair to say Tom Brady is your all-time favorite quarterback? If not, who is and why?
I would be lying if I didn’t say I love watching Tom Brady play for the New England Patriots. He is absolutely my favorite quarterback but there are many others who I love to watch play the position, as well. I enjoy watching Drew Brees, Baker Mayfield, Tate Martell and Russell Wilson. They are all great quarterbacks that are considered “smaller” than the average quarterback like myself, but they still go out there and get the job done. They have prove that size doesn’t matter as long as you have the drive to be great, along with the work ethic, too.
What interested you in attending Norwich University?
There were many things that interested me in attending Norwich University. First was the military – it has always been a dream of mine to serve my country. My older brother Chris served in the Marines and told me about the officer career, which sounded right up my ally. Additionally, I was interested in continuing my athletic career with the Cadets’ football team, which was a huge part of coming to Norwich.
Additionally, what interested you in pursuing a major in Criminal Justice? What do you hope to do with your major following graduation?
Criminal Justice interested me because of what I have seen others do with the degree. You can be a cop, work for the three letter agency or even do something with a security department for major companies. I hope to commission into the military upon graduation and once my service is complete to transition into either a police officer in Massachusetts at the state or local level or become a Boston firefighter. I believe the people who are police officers or firefighters have to greatest job in the world. They keep everyone safe and put their own lives on the line to do it. I certainly have a lot of respect for these brave men and women.
Finally, do you have a game day ritual? If so, what is it and how long have you followed it?
Oh yeah, I’m a huge ritual guy. My main ritual is putting my equipment on the right side first before the left. I always put on my right sock, cleat or pant leg on before doing it on the left side. I have done that for as long as I can remember. It started when I played hockey and I have done it ever sense.