Prospects

Prospects
Photo of Captain Munnerlyn
Captain Munnerlyn (CB)
Height: 5'9"
Weight: 182
Conference: SEC
Hometown: Mobile, AL
High School: Murphy
Featured Prospects
Selected by: Carolina Panthers
Round: 7
Pick (Overall): 7 (216)
Discuss
Pick Analysis: Munnerlyn is a bit undersized as a cornerback but he has return skills and decent speed. He can cover the slot and could make the Panthers roster to bolster the team's depth in the secondary.
  1. Overview
  2. Analysis
Overview

Regarded as one of the Southeastern Conference's rising stars at cornerback, Munnerlyn had a forgetful final season in a Gamecocks uniform that resulted in a benching and eventual dressing down by the coaching staff after he and several other underclassmen did not perform to their expected level of play.


Coming back from a 2007 left foot fracture, the multi-talented athlete manned the right cornerback position and also performed on special teams. He was benched for the 2009 Mississippi game after he missed a team meeting/weight training session. He batted a toe sprain later in the year, but was also taken to task by the staff.


Head coach Steve Spurrier questioned the effort level of several of the Gamecocks' NFL Draft prospects in the loss at Clemson. Spurrier benched junior tight end Jared Cook for the second half, saying the Gamecocks' leading receiver did not appear to be into the game. The staff also cited strong safety Emanuel Cook and Munnerlyn.


"A few guys aren't playing quite like they did early in the year. I think that was obvious," Spurrier said. "It's disappointing. Football season's a long time. Teams either get better or worse. I thought we were getting better after the Arkansas game, and then it seems like we've taken a down turn since then."


At Murphy High School, Munnerlyn was named to the Alabama Sports Writers Association All-State team. The three-time All-Region selection participated in the Junior All-Star Game and Pigskin Classic in Hawaii, and was also a track participant at the Junior Olympics. As a senior, he led the football team to a 10-2 record and a Class 6A Regional runner-up finish. He also competed in track, clocking a career-best 10.53 in the 100-meter and 22.43 in the 200-meter dashes.


Munnerlyn enrolled at South Carolina in 2006, turning down scholarship offers from Kansas State and West Virginia. He started five games at right cornerback, including the final four contests as a true freshman. He recorded 36 tackles (27 solos), as he picked off two passes and deflected five others. The 170-pounder also averaged 23.2 yards on 12 kickoff returns. He sat out the Wofford clash after he was hospitalized for several days with a right forearm infection.


In 2007, Munnerlyn was named All-Southeastern Conference first-team by the league's coaches. He started 10 games, missing the season finale vs. Clemson while appearing in just one series vs. Florida after suffering a broken bone in his left foot vs. Arkansas. His presence in the secondary helped the Gamecocks improve their 43rd-ranked pass defense from 2006 to a fourth place finish (168.75 ypg) in 2007.


As a sophomore, Munnerlyn ranked seventh on the team with 47 tackles (40 solos), including two stops for loss. He caused and recovered a fumble, broke up four passes and picked off three others. He finished seventh in the SEC with a 9.17-yard average on 18 punt returns and gained 258 yards (21.5 avg) on 12 kickoff returns.


Munnerlyn sat out 2008 spring drills to continue his left foot rehabilitation. He started 12 times at right cornerback, again ranking seventh on the squad with 44 tackles (29 solos). He registered two sacks and caused one fumble. He returned one of two fumble recoveries 38 yards for a score and deflected five passes. He averaged 6.6 yards on 18 punt returns and 24.2 yards on nine kickoff returns, including an 84-yarder that was the longest return by a Gamecock since 1997.


High School

Attended Murphy (Mobile, Ala.) High School, playing football for head coach Ron Lee...Named to the Alabama Sports Writers Association All-State team...The three-time All-Region selection participated in the Junior All-Star Game and Pigskin Classic in Hawaii, and was also a track participant at the Junior Olympics...As a senior, he led the football team to a 10-2 record and a Class 6A Regional runner-up finish...Also competed in track, clocking a career-best 10.53 in the 100-meter and 22.43 in the 200-meter dashes.


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Analysis

Positives: Short, but has a legitimate NFL body. ... Rare straight-line speed and agility. ... Loose hips to turn and run with receivers. ... Good explosiveness out of his cuts. ... Closes quickly and gets his hands on passes. ... Soft hands for the interception and can high-point passes. ... Good body control to contort in space and make the athletic catch. ... Good returner with experience fielding both punts and kicks. ... Plays with a bit of a chip on his shoulder. ... Not afraid to mix it up with the big boys and is willing in run support. ... Reliable open-field tackler who flashes surprising explosiveness as a hitter. ... Has forced three fumbles.


Negatives: Might be too short to play outside. ... Inconsistent. ... Relies on his natural ability and can be beaten with double-moves. ... Experienced in zone coverage, but his playmaking skills might make him a better fit in man. ... Has struggled a bit with durability, missing time in at least one game each of his three years. ... Missed time as a junior with flu-like symptoms, as a sophomore with a broken foot, and as a freshman due to an infection in his right arm.


Injury Report

2006: Sat out the Wofford game (9/16) after he was hospitalized several days with a right forearm infection.


2007: Suffered a left foot fracture vs. Arkansas (11/03), seeing action for just one play the following week vs. Florida (11/10) and missed the season finale vs. Clemson (11/24).


2008: Suffered a sprained big toe in practice prior to the Clemson clash (11/29).


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