With NC State set to lose three Safeties over the next two seasons (Troy Graham, Andre Maddox and JJ Jones) there's no question that the Wolfpack coaches will be looking long and hard in 2004 for able replacements. One of the prime areas to look for those replacements is south Florida and they've made early in-roads with one of Miami's best.
Dorian Munroe (6-0, 180 pounds, 4.5-seconds in the 40-yard dash) from Coral Reef High School in Miami, Fla was recently rated a four-star prospect by TheInsiders.com and is generally considered one of the top DB prospects in Florida for the class of 2005.
The lofty recruiting rankings seem justified when you consider the rising senior has already accrued 22 scholarship offers, including pledges from Auburn, Georgia, Rutgers, Pittsburgh, Florida and Kansas State.
Last season Munroe put together a stellar junior campaign and showed the versatility that has made him one of the Sunshine State's hottest commodities. On offense he rushed for better than 500 yards and eight touchdowns while hauling in 14 receptions for an additional 320 yards. On defense, Munroe had 75 tackles and led all of Dade County with eight interceptions.
He earned all-state honors (class 6A) and was selected to the all county first team ahead of Florida State signee JR Bryant.
Munroe began his football career at the ripe, old age of six and attributes good coaching and a desire to succeed as the reasons behind his early success.
"What's got me to where I'm at now is work ethic," Munroe told StateFans. "I've been fortunate to have some good coaches that have worked me hard and instilled work ethic in me. Not a day goes by that I'm not working on my game or watching a little bit of film. Also, since I watch a lot of film on my opponent before the game, I kind of know what's going to happen before it happens. So I guess my knowledge of the game really helps me also."
Although Safety appears to be Munroe's likely destination in college, his versatility on the football field is impressive. Whatever the position, the talented prospect simply wants to see the field once he gets to college. Munroe talked about his role on the prep level.
"For my high school I pretty much play every position," he said. "In our spring game I played Safety and RB. Last year I played Safety and Wing Back/Receiver. Most of the schools recruiting me like me as a Safety but some of them are also looking at me as a WR. I really don't have a choice though. I just want to get on the field. I'll play both sides. I feel like I'm better at Safety but with the right coaches I could be just as good as a WR."
With nearly two dozen schools from which to choose, Munroe has been able to whittle the list down to a fortunate five programs that have piqued his interest the most.
"I'd say my top five schools right now are NC State, Georgia, Florida, LSU and Miami," said Munroe.
With any top prospect from Miami, the odds always seem to be in the Canes' favor to land their commitment once signing day rolls around in February. However, Munroe indicated that may not be the case for him. So would a Miami offer all but sign, seal and deliver the rising senior to Coral Gables?
"Not even close," said Munroe. "I mean, I'm really high on Miami but around here, if you're good, everybody wants you to go to Miami. I like Miami but I kind of want to go other places. Coach Cristobal is recruiting me and I've taken like five unofficial visits there and went to camp. And actually, I got defensive back MVP at the camp but they've got this one kid they're trying to get and if they don't get him then they want to get me but I don't want to feel like a leftover. They've talked about offering but I don't feel like waiting because I'm thinking about committing before the season starts so I can concentrate on high school."
One school that seems to have a better than average chance is NC State but surprisingly, the Pack has yet to officially offer a scholarship. Even so, Munroe had nothing but praise for the Wolfpack program and his recruiting coach, Doc Holliday.
"I have a tremendous amount of interest in NC State," said Munroe. "First of all, they play good football up there. I mean, there's never really a game where they get blown out. They're always in the game and they're a top 25 team. They recruit in the state of Florida. They've got a lot of people up there that I know of. They've got a lot of players there from Killian (High School) which is really my home school so I hear a lot about them. I know Stephen Tulloch, Miguel Scott, Pat Thomas and Andre Maddox.
"If I see those other kids from Florida are making it there then I know I can make it there. I'd probably fit in easier there because we're all from the same area .
"Doc, he came down to my school and we've talked on the phone a little bit. He sounded really enthusiastic about me. He really likes guys from Miami and we were talking about how guys from Miami stack up against the rest of the country and how we've got a lot of hunger. NC State is just a real good program. He told me they were going to offer me but I haven't got the paperwork yet. I'm planning on coming up to State on an official visit."
This summer Munroe has camped at Miami and Rutgers. He even had a chance to work out with former Pack coach Chris Demarest and referred to "Demo" as "the best coach I've met so far." He says that he still has plans to camp at Florida State and hopes to take unofficial visits to Florida and Georgia.
Munroe talked about his recruiting as being one of the most important things in his life and as a result has spent quite a bit of time researching the teams on his shortlist. It would appear that there will be two main prerequisites for the school that hopes to land his commitment.
"One of the main things I'm looking at is staying on the east coast- I mean from LSU on east," he said. "I don't want to go too far up north. Being from Miami all we do is play in the heat so I don't how I'd adapt to the cold, cold weather. I've thought about as far north as I want to go is North Carolina. Also, I'm looking at the depth charts. I've been talking to the coaches about that and checking out their media guides. Florida just offered me but they just signed four DB's in this last recruiting class and Miami just got like five DB's in their last recruiting class. Georgia only got one DB in their class and he was a CB plus one went to the pros and another dropped out of school."
Munroe is undecided currently on a college major but projects as a full academic qualifier.