Playing left tackle at a big-time school can be a pressure-packed experience. Living up to your Hall-of-Fame father’s reputation, however, can be an even more daunting task. To prove this point, please turn your attention to exhibit A: Michael Munoz.
Michael Munoz is a left tackle from the University of Tennessee who will likely project to the right side on the professional level. He has excellent size, 6-foot-5 and 305 pounds, tremendous technique, and expectations raised high due to his father’s dominant play during the 1980s. While his father seemingly set an impossible standard for excellence, he is now helping his son work to reach it.
“I think it’s great to go through this process and for him to be able to give me that knowledge on what to expect and what to go through,” Munoz said. “It’s been great for me. I wouldn’t have it any other way, the opportunities and just the experiences I’ve had because of what he’s done and who he is.”
Despite his father’s successes, Michael Munoz is his own man, and he must work to achieve his own personal successes on the next level.
“I know that I can only be the best player that I can be,” recognized the younger Munoz.
Because of this, he has been working diligently this off-season in order to prepare his game for the next level. The players there will be bigger, stronger and faster, and he knows that he must prepare well if he is to adjust accordingly.
“Really from the end of the season you get a couple months to try to get in the best shape of your life, so it’s a tough road,” allowed Munoz. “Everybody is a good technician at the next level, works on their game. So it’s definitely a tough transition.”
But Munoz is preparing well for that transition, and plans on utilizing his superb technique to counter the extraordinary athleticism possessed by many of the players on the pro level.
“I think that technique is definitely one of my strong points, to be able to be in the right position, good feet, good hands, definitely gives you an edge. I do feel like that helps a lot,” Munoz said.
A player of his size and ability is always in high demand, but there has been no clue yet as to which teams may be interested in drafting this second-generation star.
“April 23rd when I get a phone call, that’s when I’ll know,” said Munoz, regarding his take on which teams may be interested in him. “It does feel good, you go into the interview room and everybody is coming up and wanting some time. I enjoy just getting to meet the different coaches and teams.”
As respectful and level-headed as Michael Munoz is, there is no doubt that these teams enjoyed meeting him as well. If he can develop into even half of the player his father was, the lucky team that drafts him will enjoy his presence in their lineup even more.
He got to workout for his father’s old team, the Cincinnati Bengals and it had nothing to do with nostalgia. Many other teams met with him based on his talent alone. Although he may be able to go to his father for a lesson, it will be his ability that makes or breaks him.