Sunseri forging relationships

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The Tennessee football staff lost quite a bit of recruiting prowess when defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox and linebackers coach Peter Sirmon hit the road to the left coast, but Derek Dooley's new staff is picking up where his former team left off.

Originally discovered by Sirmon, Shaker Heights (Ohio) defensive tackle Donovan Munger recently collected a scholarship offer from his new recruiter on Rocky Top — new defensive coordinator Sal Sunseri.

"I was definitely hoping to get an offer from Tennessee," Munger told InsideTennessee. "I was talking to coach Sirmon before he left and they were talking about offering, but it didn't happen. Now they gave me an offer and I am excited about Tennessee."

Munger, who already has offers from Akron, Auburn, Bowling Green, Duke, Illinois, Indiana, Kent State, Kentucky, Louisville, Minnesota, Penn State, Syracuse, Tennessee, Toledo and West Virginia, seems to have taken to Suneri's personality early.

"I have been talking with Coach Sal since Coach Sirmon left," he said. "We have been talking and he seems like a good guy. He talks to me about other things besides football and he has tried to build a good relationship."

The Shaker Heights, Ohio native would like his family to be able to see him play his college football, but that might not be a problem considering he has family right down I-40 in Nashville.

"I just want my family to be able to come see me play," Munger said. "I want to make sure that they have the major that I decide on so I can so I can get the job that I want after school.

"It is really where I feel most comfortable. My parents don't care where I go as long as I am happy. They want me to go wherever I want to go regardless of distance."


"I know they have good academics and their team has some great tradition."

- Munger on Tennessee


As InsideTennessee previously reported, one of Munger's biggest interests when it comes to Tennessee is the draw of the SEC.

"It feels really good knowing that I have an offer to play in the Southeastern Conference," he said. "Now I just have to keep working and get better for my senior season."

Munger's team is coming off a lack-luster 2011 season that ended with a disastrous 2-8 record, but the big man is just focused on improving for his senior year.

"Footwork is the most important for me right now," Munger said. "I need to improve my footwork all around in order to play on both sides of the ball. Getting stronger and improving my technique is also something I am working at."

Munger plays both sides of the football for Shaker Heights, but is widely considered a defensive tackle prospect, isn't sure where Tennessee has him pegged quite yet.

"Tennessee is not really sure where I fit yet, but I don't really care what I play," he said. "I just want to be put in the best position to be the best player I can be."

Munger doesn't have extensive knowledge of the Vols, but he has plans to head south this spring in order to get a closer look at Rocky Top.

"I know they have good academics and their team has some great tradition," Munger said. "You can never know too much though, I am looking to go down there on my spring break to see some practices and see the campus."

The 6-foot-3, 280-pounder reports a 2.3 core GPA and plans to ride on the Raw Talent bus tour this coming summer that will take him to over 20 camps throughout the SEC and ACC.

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