Hometown: Greencastle, Pa.
Penn State Career
Aurelius first landed in Happy Valley in 2020 and he was unable to suit up for the Nittany Lions in the shortened 2020-2021 season.
Dunbar then took part in eight matches in his second season at Penn State, with these bouts a part of both the Jonathan Kaloust Bearcat Open and Mat Town Open.
Aurelius wrestled the ninth match of his Nittany career this past December during the Oregon State dual. This time it was part of an extra bout following the conclusion of the regular dual.
Prior to Penn State
While Dunbar resided in Greencastle, he attended the Mercersburg Academy in Mercersburg, Pa. During his time at the academy, Aurelius compiled a career record of 116-22 and was a four time state finalist and four time National Prep All-American.
Dunbar was also a Fargo Freestyle All-American as a freshman, a runner up in class A of the Journeyman Classic, represented Pennsylvania at Fargo, and was the team captain for three seasons.
Aurelius’ main goal his senior season was to make sure his teammates enjoyed the season and to build a stronger wrestling culture by getting better attendance at meets. Which is pretty impressive and mature for a 17 year old considering I was just trying to get better than a “C” in gym class my senior year.
Dunbar was also a 2020 MESPY award recipient (Mercersburg Academy’s version of ESPN’s ESPY Awards) and received the wrestling team’s traditional paper plate award with the inscription:
“Most likely to win an NCAA title and Olympic medal without ever seeing either because he lost his glasses.”
Coming out of high school, Aurelius was ranked No. 14 in the country at 160 pounds and according to his coach, Nate Jacklin, wrestling at Penn State was always his goal. “He said his goal was to wrestle at Penn State,” Jacklin continued, “It’s a dream for every Pennsylvania wrestler, and it’s great to see it happen for him after all his hard work.”
Dunbar first got the itch to gravitate towards wrestling when he was six years old. Aurelius was a huge WWE fan and he had visions of hitting guys with chairs and jumping off the top rope.
While there aren’t any Stone Cold Stunners or Tombstone Piledrivers in freestyle and folkstyle wrestling, adversity certainly lives in all of the disciplines. And Dunbar found this out first hand his inaugural year on the mat when he didn’t win a single match.
I would venture to guess that most kids would pack it in and never wrestle again. But not Aurelius.
Dunbar learned everything he could and trained hard for the next season. And the work paid off as he went from zero wins to undefeated the following year.
“You definitely need to have people push you. You have to have someone better than you make you better.”
Working with other top wrestlers and great coaches in the Tuscarora Youth Wrestling club, Aurelius began to really turn the corner and success came much easier for him. After winning several regional tournaments, Dunbar knew wrestling was going to be his future. And he set a goal for himself to wrestle in college when he was only in the 5th grade.
Dunbar loves the sport of wrestling because it’s an individual sport. In team sports, it’s easy to point the finger at someone else when the team doesn’t do well, but in wrestling it’s just you and the other guy. You are accountable for your own results and you either beat the other guy or you don’t. And this is what really fuels Aurelius.
Away from wrestling, Aurelius grew up working as a child model as well as an actor. Dunbar worked with his father, Koran Dunbar, in the movie “Greencastle” and he worked with Spike Lee in the 2004 movie “She Hate Me”.
While Aurelius’ acting career was relatively short, he was once nominated for “Best supporting actor” at the DC International Film Festival.
Dunbar also spends a tremendous amount of time helping out people in his community. Which is a true testament to his character and who he is as a person, especially considering how demanding a sport like wrestling is.
"“More importantly Aurelius has volunteered most of his teenage years at halfway houses, and transitional housing units in Baltimore, made meals for homeless at the local shelter he’s done multiple fundraisers for local youth children.” -Koran Dunbar"
According to his father, Aurelius is also a huge animal lover, and during his spare time, he volunteers at an animal shelter in the State College area.
Along with several other of his teammates, Dunbar is a avid gamer and a big fan of the NBA 2K franchise. His favorite food is any type of pasta and he says his ability at making song beats also rivals his abilities on the wrestling mat.
Now that’s saying something!