In an effort to keep even the most hardcore Miami fan up to date on their favorite players, SOTU will be running a Player Profile series. In these posts, our writers will profile two players from each position that they think should get more face time. They will recap their previous year, or in some cases, preview what may be to come. That way, when the season get's here, you hopefully will have a new found love for the team on the field. Today we profile Ladarius Gunter.
Ladarius Gunter / Junior / Cornerback / 6'2" 196 / Montgomery, AL.
Look around the NFL and you'll find more and more "big corners." Antonio Cromartie of the Jets is 6'2, Richard Sherman of the Seahawks is 6'3, and his teammate Brandon Browner is 6'4. With WRs like Calvin Johnson, Andre Johnson, and Larry Fitzgerald giving smaller CBs fits, the big corner is back in style.
Well the Miami Hurricanes have a big corner of their own in 6'2 Ladarius Gunter. He models himself after former UCF star and Pro Bowler Asante Samuel (although Samuel is a bit smaller then Gunter) "because he takes chances, intercepts the ball and scores touchdowns." Gunter started 4 games last year in his debut season with UM, after one season from Fort Scott Community College. And as the season progressed his height, athleticism, and cover skills became a bigger and bigger part of the defense. Gunter recorded his first ever pick against Va Tech, and had a career high 8 tackles against UNC.
The small town Gunter, who played his high school ball in Montgomery, AL and grew up in Kansas, picked Miami almost immediately during on his official visit.
"Miami is a lot different," said Gunter, "The people, the atmosphere, the things around the city are all different. When I was in Kansas, there was nothing but maybe a Wal-Mart."
This year Gunter should be even more active, as he is expected to man one starting CB spot opposite Tracy Howard. Gunter, who is described by receiver Phillip Dorsett to be the "most physical corner on the team," will surely develop in year 2 at Miami. In fact, it's also been well documented that Gunther was also one of the most improved players regardless of position during the spring, and that Al Golden took notice.
And if Howard and Gunter both makes the big strides expected of them, UM just might have one of the better CB tandems in the ACC,
When that happens, UM's D just might rival its prolific O, and that could lead to big things overall for Golden's squad.
He's also a heck of a special teams players. See Below
(Canes All Access)