February 2, 2011

Mungwa talks about signing with the Orange

As I write this on Tuesday night, Shutang Mungwa, or just "Shoe" is hours away from officially signing with the Orange, when he'll sign on the dotted line in the comfort of his own home tomorrow.

Shoe chose the Orange over offers most distinctly from recent Orange Bowl champion Stanford and Big East rival Louisville. Mungwa indicated he visited Boston College a few times as well.

"I'm just glad the whole process is over. It's a stress for not only me but the coaches as well. It's exciting, but I'm glad it's done."

But through all the attention Shoe made it clear he didn't want to draw out the process.

"I'm not a diva and not a fan of visiting five schools, making everybody wait, and then playing the hat game."

The safety is not one of Syracuse's six early enrollees in the 2011 class and will join the Orange in July when summer camp starts in preparation for the season. When he gets to Syracuse, Mungwa will join a slew of players attempting to fill the void left in the secondary by graduating senior Max Suter. Key pieces of the Pinstripe Bowl champion Orange will be Shamarko Thomas and Philip Thomas, who will be juniors seeing their third year as regular options for the Orange.

"Shamarko Thomas and Phillip Thomas are both great safeties, guys who could certainly play at the next level. I got a chance to sit in on meetings with them, and it was an exciting experience."

As for Mungwa, the thought is heading in he'll be able to compete for time as a true freshman.

"I'm a physical type of guy which will help me at the next level as the game will get much faster and more physical. I can blitz and defend against the run very well. I need to work on my man to man coverage, but it's a process."

What brought Mungwa to the Orange was several factors, but the coaching staff may have been what put the Orange over the top. A constant theme for the recruits is "family", an idea Orange Head Coach Doug Marrone preaches to his staff and players.

"The coaching staff at the end of the day was very knowledgeable and the reason for my commitment. It was a family like atmosphere, guys I know can help me get to the next level. I was fortunate enough to spend a lot of time with Coach Anselmo and Coach Shafer that made me feel comfortable."

The 2011 Syracuse recruiting haul is ripe with secondary talent. There's athletes who may turn into members of the secondary in Rochester's Ashton Broyld, or cornerback from Miami, FL Ritchy Desir. The Orange also added corner Jaston George, who has already enrolled in classes and is expected to participate in spring practice. New York based Tyree Smallwood may also play in the secondary, choosing the Orange last June over offers from Cincinnati, Maryland, and Rutgers, among others.

Shoe indicated he's ready to see the game at next level. It's a faster, more physical game, he says, but one he's ready to see a year after playing in high school. "I'm ready for the college football grind. It's not just games but much more intense practices as well."

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