For Mungwa, the shoe fits

For hard-hitting New Jersey safety Shutang "Shu" Mungwa, the decision to commit verbally to Stanford was quite simple, really...

Mungwa wanted to attend a college that allowed him to reach his potential both on and off the field, and he felt the Cardinal program gave him the best chance of doing that.

"They really presented an offer that I couldn't refuse," Mungwa said. "They offered me a chance to maybe play pro football and also do some great things with my life as far as being a philanthropist and being someone who can be a pioneer in a field, or any subject he wanted in the world."

So, while visiting Palo Alto for Stanford's third Junior Day this weekend, Mungwa pulled the trigger on a Cardinal commitment while meeting with head coach Jim Harbaugh and recruiter Greg Roman.

"I just let them know there was no other school that was able to combine athletics and academics at a high level like Stanford was able to," Mungwa said. "I couldn't think of any other place that I would rather spend four years of my life so I told them Stanford was where I wanted to be."

Despite offers from Syracuse and Louisville and interest from a host of other programs, Mungwa figured there was no point in delaying what seemed to be inevitable.

"I told myself that I had to make a decision based on whether I would choose to go another school," Mungwa said. "If I was thinking that I don't know yet [for sure], I would have waited until Signing Day but Stanford was a place I wanted to be at. There was no point in fooling coaches and giving them false pretense about what I wanted to do."

Just a few minutes on the phone with Mungwa makes it clear why Stanford and several other programs are so high on his prospects. The 6-foot-1, 180-pounder has a physical style of play that would make any football traditionalist smile.

"I think it was mainly because of my relentless style of play," Mungwa said. I'm constantly pursuing the ball carrier. I'm hitting everything that moves whether it be the fullback, a lineman, an interception return. I'm constantly looking at inviting contact and that's a strength of my game and that's something that jumped out on tape and impressed the coaches."

Mungwa said he is being recruited as a safety, but he could move up to linebacker.

"That's where they are recruiting me but things could happen and I could move back to linebacker," Mungwa said. "It doesn't matter - it's all about playing."

Mungwa made his decision after touring the Stanford campus and learning more about the school's academic and athletic offerings.

"They just basically broke down and gave us a tour of every aspect of Stanford we'll be dealing with all four years," Mungwa said of his Junior Day experience. "We got to attend a class and speak with professors, and we also got to watch the team train and sit in on meetings with position coaches. They also explained to us their nutrition program and player development program."

Mungwa seemed most impressed with how well organized the Junior Day activities were.

"It was very, very well thought out and particular," Mungwa said. "They didn't want to get recruits just by their reputation. They just don't want to sit you in a room and tell you ‘We're great in football, we're great in academics, come here.'

"Everything was meticulously explained and they had a reason for why they were calling themselves the best academic school in the nation and also one of the best teams in the Pac-10 and probably a team that will be in the Rose Bowl in the next couple of years."

Mungwa, who lists physiology, anatomy, economics, and communication as areas of academic interest, also got a chance to learn more about the school's admissions process.

"It's a very rigorous process," Mungwa said. "I've heard from a lot of people that's probably the hardest part of the recruiting process as far as Stanford goes is getting in. You have to get letters of recommendation, you have to have the right SAT score, and the right GPA." With a self-reported 3.8 GPA, Mungwa certainly looks to be headed in the right direction. He also took the SAT earlier this month, but has yet to receive his scores.

The Bootleg would like to congratulate Mungwa on his college decision, as he becomes the 14th member of the 2011 recruiting class to make a public verbal commitment to Stanford.

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