Eastern coach Danny Hope expects Dunn to have a "great" senior year because he is part of a talented senior class the Colonels have returning.
"He has been a heck of a player for us. He rushed for close to 1,000 yards last year and he is a great receiver. He is a total player," Hope said. "He has been our No. 1 back for the last couple of years. He is a low rep guy. He doesn't need a lot of reps to understand what is going on and I think that helped him become an impact player early in his career."
Dunn says it is "kind of shocking" that this is his senior year and at times he wishes he had redshirted his freshman season when he was primarily a backup running back. However, he's also not sure if he could have endured a year without football.
"Nobody wants to sit on the bench. I would like another year, but I probably would not have liked redshirting," Dunn said. "This guy I came in with competed with me to see who would redshirt. I beat him out.
Better now than in high school
"Nobody wants to get beat so they can redshirt. You are not going to sit there and let down. I won that battle. I wish I could have played more my freshman year, but it was a learning experience that was probably good for me."
Dunn rushed for a school record 5,106 yards at Harrodsburg. However, he says he is a far better player now than when he left high school.
"No doubt I am. I have learned it is a team game. I am not saying in high school it was not a team game, but in college they recruit guys for every position and you have guys out on the field who can all play," Dunn said. "You don't have to be the only playmaker. Everybody loves to make plays, but you can relax and watch others make plays, too."
That's why individual numbers don't worry Dunn. He understands more talented players means less opportunity for almost every player.
"You have those select few guys who come and have crazy statistics. Then you have championship teams that are usually balanced," Dunn said. "I shared time at running back, and I am also in an offense that throws the ball a lot. I was not used to that, but I adapted.
"You learn how to cope. You learn pass blocking. You learn to be more of a team player and that the team doesn't have to just rely on me like it did in high school at times."
Hope thinks competing with running back Bobby Washington pushed Dunn to be even better in 2006.
"Both would like to be the star player. Mark has really cranked his off-season training up. He looks bigger and faster than he ever has. He is a very competitive person and the competition with Bobby has really pushed him," Hope said.
Dunn knows last year's success will not matter this year.
Last Harrodsburg High player in D-1 football
"You can always do better at anything in life. If you have that mentality, you will go farther. You always want to get better whether it is your last year or not," Dunn said. "Coach wants me to be more vocal and get my teammates more involved this year. I have accepted that, but hopefully I can contribute more on the field as well."
The end of Dunn's career will also mark the end of Harrodsburg's rich football tradition. He is the last Harrodsburg High School graduate playing Division I football.
"There is no pressure. I might be the last one from Harrodsburg in college, but I won't be the last one from this area to make it big," Dunn said. "We have all types of talent in our area.
"As a parent, you wish your kids could chase your high school records, but that will not be possible for me because my school doesn't exist any more. You just move on."
Dunn says becoming a father has actually helped his focus on football.
"You have to learn to juggle school, football and your child. A lot of people fold under pressure and don't want to accept responsibility. But if you accept it, it is no problem," Dunn said.
Years ago, Dunn might not have been as philosophical.
"I have matured a lot on and off the field. I focus hard on my academics. I try to find time to work with kids. Anything involving kids, I like to give back," Dunn said. "I have grown into a better person. I'm not just a better player than when I got to Eastern. I am also a more well-rounded and better person."