Thursday, February 5, 2009

The Rich Get Richer at LB

A widely used axiom in pro sports dictates that getting a player back from an extended absence is just about as good as making a major deal for a player just before a trade deadline.

The difference here is that when you get a player back from injury or the such, you don't have to give anything up.

Such is the case today as Gerald Munns announced that he is returning to the Sun Devils.

Munns missed eight of the Devils final nine games last season due to undisclosed personal issues. He had a tremendous game in the win over Stanford in early September, garnering Pac-10 Defensive POTW honors. He also broke his pinky finger in that game, missed the loss to UNLV and then left the team.

This is what we had to say about Munns' injury and absence last October 1:

"We found out on Monday that Munns would miss the Cal game due to personal reasons, but now we find out this morning that those personal reasons will keep the starting linebacker out for the remainder of 2008.

We respect confidentiality obviously, but there's definitely curiosity around why Munns is gone for the year. He didn't play against UNLV due to pinky surgery and he, like most of his fellow linebackers, was completely ineffective against Georgia. But now, out of nowhere, he's gone for the year.

The only thing that we can hope for is that he gets his personal matters, whatever they are, in order for his own sake. Munns has a lot of raw talent and has the ability to be a very good defensive player."

I stand exactly by that. There's no real reason to press and dwell on why Gerald sat out the bulk of his junior season, but according to Dennis Erickson, "he's back to the old Munnsy;" at least that's what he told Jeff Metcalfe.

This announcement comes at a spectacular time as well; with Morris Wooten gone, ASU severely lacked a major playmaker in this second layer of the defensive front. Now Munns, Travis Goethel, Mike Nixon, Ryan McFoy and Vontaze Burfict are the nucleus of what could be a very good linebacking corps.

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