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October 15, 2013
TCU OL James Dunbar had to work hard to get back
TCU's offensive line hasn't been perfect this year. It's been a revolving door of players and positions for many of the Frogs that make up the "big uglies."
There has been one constant this year however, and it's senior left tackle James Dunbar. He's been asked to do a lot this season whether it's playing different positions or being a leader, he's answered the call.
All of this after it wasn't clear whether or not he would even be on the team again after leaving the program in 2012.
"I needed it. I've matured enough to come back and play," Dunbar said. "I'm blessed to be in the position I am today."
Academic issues kept him from practicing with the team and eventually leaving the school all together last fall. He took online courses and eventually had to prove that he could come back and be the man and player coach Gary Patterson needed him to be.
"I've learned accountability. You have to be accountable for yourself and for other people," Dunbar said. "That particular thing was hard for me and I'm glad I'm back."
While he was focusing on getting his education plan in order, he also had to work on keeping his body in shape. Especially after a knee injury cost him most of the 2011 season.
"I had to keep myself in shape, stay on a work out regimen every week and that's what I did and why I'm in the position I'm in today," Dunbar said. "Blessed the coaching staff and team let me back."
All of that work was put it in without knowing if he would ever be back at the school, let alone on the team.
"I was out in East Texas doing my own thing. I didn't (know if I would be back to TCU)," Dunbar said. "Last January I decided to reenroll to try and get something back."
He paid for it himself to come back and didn't know if he would be able to earn his scholarship back, which he finally did in August. He had some correspondence with Patterson after he re-enrolled to talk about what it would take to get back on the field.
"We touched base. He told me what I needed to show him to come back," Dunbar said. "I showed him by my actions before I came back here by what I did with the online class and how I looked. So I think I showed him that I was done with the talk and actions were louder than words."
That has been his motivation to making this senior season as good as it can be.
"Came back with a walk-on attitude and got my scholarship back in August," Dunbar said. "It's a humbling experience. I'm glad the team accepted me back. I'm glad the coaching staff excepted me back. I'm just blessed for the opportunity and I'm embracing it all."