When it comes to the NFL the league is always looking for cornerbacks that can play. Many teams want guys who are close to 6-0 and 200 pounds.
But just because you don't have the height doesn't mean you can't play and that is what cornerback James Dunnigan of Kansas State thinks as well.
"If you look at Antoine Winfield of the Buffalo Bills he is a small corner but he comes up and brings the wood," said Dunnigan. "I would compare myself to Winfield because I come up and bring the wood as well."
Well Kansas State wasn't the first place that Dunnigan has played football but he did know that his best chance to make into the NFL was to take his last two years of eligibility and go there.
"Kansas State has a great record of sending cornerbacks to the NFL and that is one of the biggest reason I went to Kansas State," said Dunnigan.
Dunnigan college football career started at Purdue where as a freshman he started eight of 12 games at cornerback. After his freshman year he was pre-season All Big-Ten. He then transferred to Garden City Community College and then has spent the last two years at Kansas State. His first year he played the nickel cornerback spot and then last year he was the starting cornerback until he got hurt.
Dunnigan is a very tough player who is a great tackler, hard worker and very smart on the football field. What Dunnigan lacks is size, he needs to injury free and get a little faster.
Basketball is Dunnigan first love and in high school has played against the likes of Tracy McGrady (Orlando Magic), Joe Forte (Seattle SuperSonics), DerMarr Johnson (Atlanta Hawks), and Kentucky star Keith Bogans. Ruben Boumtje Boumtje of the Portland Trail Blazers was his high school teammate.
Dunnigan who is going to graduate in May would like to show the pro scouts on March 10 at KSU pro day that he is a cornerback that can play in the NFL.
"When the pro scouts look at me they are going to see a cornerback that can hit people, will learn the plays, will always be on time to team meetings and practices, and just be a professional," Dunnigan says.
Most NFL scouts will be coming to KSU to see Terence Newman the All- American cornerback and most likely a top 10 pick in Aprils draft. Dunnigan and Newman played together for two seasons at Kansas State.
"Terence and me had a bond we got on the same page and Terence had a lot of respect for me. What I learn from was how to be a student of the game. He watch a lot of film and so did I," said Dunnigan. "If you are a student of the game and you know what you are doing you are going to be successful."
When Dunnigan looks around the NFL there are teams that he see that he could play for and would allow a small cornerback to play in their system.
"I would have to say the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and not just because the won the Super Bowl, but because of the cover two defense they play and they let the cornerback come up and make plays," said Dunnigan.
Other teams that Dunnigan thought would be a good fit for his would be the Buffalo Bills because they allow small cornerbacks like Antoine Winfield play at being 5-9. The St. Louis Rams because of Dre' Bly and the nickel package they run.
Dunnigan just hopes that he gets a chance to show his ability in the NFL next season.