Aundre Dean talks ‘Escape Club,’ ex-teammate Jason Verrett


Lights, camera, action.

In three and a half weeks, former TCU tailback Aundre Dean will be featured on E!’s latest reality show Escape Club and he hopes it marks the beginning of his journey to stardom. 

Escaping Life

“The whole idea of the show is basically just trying to escape life, escape something that you’re not really getting a chance to do,” Dean said.

The 6-foot-1 bruiser averaged 4.4 yards per carry in his senior season as a Frog, but didn’t get a shot at an NFL roster.

“I really thought that I was gonna get a chance to play in the NFL,” Dean said. “That didn’t happen so I had to move on and do other things.”

“It just [gave] me an opportunity to audition for the show. Really being at a true place [in] my life: trying to escape the fact that I’m not playing football. I’m not doing what I thought I would be doing at this point.”

Dean currently works at Enterprise; a job he says pays the bills but isn’t what he truly wants to do. 

“That’s where the concept came from,” Dean said. “Just every day going to work, having a nine-to-five, getting up, putting on a suit and tie, which is all good, but, at the end of the day, [is] not really where I wanted to be.”

The Katy, Texas, native said he was contacted through Facebook initially and then had to go through several auditions before being selected. After that, Dean took place in a near month-long filming process set in the Dominican Republic.

“It was crazy, man,” Dean said. “A lot of bumps down the road. A lot of twists and turns and shocks. You really learn a lot about yourself doing that kind of stuff.”

The Other Celebrity

While Dean is preparing to be on TV, his former teammate Jason Verrett is preparing for a different challenge on the horizon: training camp with the San Diego Chargers

“I’m a big fan of the underdog because I was the underdog,” Dean said.

The Chargers drafted Verrett, a former JUCO transfer, with the 25th overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft Thursday. As a former transfer himself, Dean understands the incredible nature of Verrett’s journey.

“I’m a fan of going through that process and making it through and persevering because it’s difficult,” Dean said. “Just to go to a different school, to learn a new system with already established players there. The odds are never really in your favor.”

Dean transferred from UCLA to TCU in 2009 after his freshman year.

“It was amazing just to see [Verrett] get to where he needs to be and where he deserves to be,” Dean said. 

“I think he’s gonna be a great player in San Diego. I think he’s got a long career ahead of him because I know how hard he works. I could see it at TCU. It’s really no surprise to me.”

The NFL may not have been a dream Dean got to live out, but he said he’s proud of his former teammates who’ve made it to that level all the same.

“It’s a dream that I wish I would’ve had the opportunity to experience,” Dean said. “Any time the Horned Frogs are doing something good it’s always good. “I’m extremely proud of ‘em.”

Hoping for Stardom

With Escape Club scheduled to premiere on June 8, Dean is about to go from local somebody to nationally recognized celebrity. 

“I really don’t even think it’s hit me yet,” Dean said. “I really think my life is about to change.”

All the same, Dean hopes his appearance on the show is only the start of a promising career in entertainment. Dean said he hopes on eventually becoming an actor and plans on moving to Los Angeles this Sunday to purse that dream.

“My goal is to really get in some movies,” Dean said. “To really get in some movies or do a sitcom or something like that. That’s really where I want to go with this.”

A former anchor for TCU 360’s own TCU Sports Now, Dean is currently signed with Page Parkes, a talent agency that has worked with the likes of Angelina Jolie, Channing Tatum and Woody Harrelson.

“I have a big agent review coming up where I’m gonna be performing in front of about 100 different nationally-recognized talent agencies, which gives me an opportunity to do bigger things and go further in my career,” Dean said.

As for specific details on what to expect come June 8, the future television star wouldn’t elaborate.

“You gotta watch the show, man.” Dean laughed. “You gotta watch it.”