October 25, 2009

Munroe makes the most of his opportunity

After watching patiently from the sidelines for the last year-and-a-half redshirt freshman linebacker Malcolm Munroe seized his first big moment as a Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket on Saturday. On the Jackets first punt, Munroe drilled Virginia punt returner Chase Minnifield forcing a fumble deep in Virginia territory setting up the Jackets' first scoring opportunity of the game.

A series of random circumstances led to Munroe's big moment. Freshman linebacker Julian Burnett, who was ahead of Munroe on the depth chart, injured his knee on a fluke play in the Virginia Tech game and Munroe filled in for him this week.

"It is an amazing feeling to see all my hard work pays off. When the opportunity comes you have to take advantage of it as best you can," he said.

Munroe was playing on the punt team in the spot normally occupied by freshman Burnett when he made his big play.

"Normally that is Julian's spot. I was subbing for him and made a good play I think," he said.

Typically, on a short field, punt situation the returner will call for the fair catch, but Minnifield has been reluctant to do so most of this season. Munroe was shocked when the Cavs' player hand did not go in the air.

"I was amazed. I was running down there and looking straight at him. I was just waiting for it thinking he would call for the fair catch, but once I saw him catch it, I just put my head down and tried to put my helmet through his chest," he said.

After starting weakside linebacker Steven Sylvester went down with a brief injury, Munroe found himself playing on the defensive side of the ball as well, getting his first meaningful defensive snaps as a Jacket.

"I was only out there for a little bit, but I felt like I held my own," he said. "It was actually funny the lineman on the other side kept saying before my first play that I look scared. We were talking back and forth, but I had a lot of fun out there."

With Burnett sidelined with the knee injury, Munroe prepared himself mentally with the idea that he was a play away from playing a major role in the game.

"I had a good week of practice and the coaches thought so too. I was real focused this week," he said. "I think it was the most focused I have been since I got here."

After making his presence felt on the football field for the first time, Munroe says he just needs to keep plugging away to get into the rotation on a more regular basis.

"I think I made my pitch to get more into the rotation. I just have to keep it up and stay humble. I need to work harder to get on the field regularly."

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