Captain Munnerlyn

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Captain Munnerlyn
Captain Munnerlyn.jpg
Captain Munnerlyn during his tenure with the Panthers.
No. 24     Minnesota Vikings
Cornerback / Return specialist
Personal information
Date of birth: (1988-04-10) April 10, 1988 (age 26)
Place of birth: Mobile, Alabama
Height: 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m) Weight: 195 lb (88 kg)
Career information
High school: Mobile (AL) Murphy
College: South Carolina
NFL Draft: 2009 / Round: 7 / Pick: 216
Debuted in 2009 for the Carolina Panthers
Career history
Roster status: Active
Career highlights and awards
  • USA Today All-Joe Team (2013)
  • First-team All-SEC (2007)
Career NFL statistics as of 2014
Tackles 342
Quarterback Sacks 5.5
INTs 9
INT for TD 5
Pass deflections 43
Forced Fumbles 3
Stats at

Captain Munnerlyn (born April 10, 1988) is an American professional football cornerback for the Minnesota Vikings of the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted by the Carolina Panthers in the seventh round of the 2009 NFL Draft. He played college football at South Carolina for three years.

Munnerlyn played high school football at Murphy High School in Mobile, Alabama where he was named All–region three times. Following high school he chose to play college football for the South Carolina Gamecocks after receiving scholarship offers from two other teams. As a freshman in 2006 he played in 11 games and recorded a season high five tackles in two. In 2007, Munnerlyn was both a nickel back and return specialist for the Gamecocks. Following the season he was named All–Southeastern Conference (SEC). In 2008, he was elevated to starting cornerback while also returning kicks and punts. Against Kentucky, he returned a kickoff 84 yards and a blocked field goal 81 yards. On the second day of the 2009 NFL Draft, Munnerlyn was selected by the Carolina Panthers in the seventh round (216 overall).

Early years[edit]

Munnerlyn was born three months premature and at birth weighed three pounds, eight ounces. He grew up in Happy Hills, which was a crime-infested part of Mobile. While living in Happy Hills he attended the Josephine Allen branch of Boys & Girls Clubs of South Alabama.

When he was growing up, his father was murdered and both of his brothers sold drugs. His oldest brother, Timothy, was convicted in 1996 of murder and was sentenced to life in prison. After the shooting, Munnerlyn's mother converted to Christianity and he eventually did the same. Munnerlyn eventually said of the conversion and his mother's prayers that he would stay out of trouble, "Without her prayers, I don't think I could be here [the NFL] right now."[1]

Munnerlyn attended Murphy High School in Mobile, Alabama, where he was a three-time All-region selection and participated in the Junior All–Star Game. He helped lead Murphy High to a 10-2 record and a 6A Regional runner-up finish his senior year. During high school, he was also a standout track & field sprinter.[2] He competed in the 100-meter dash and long jump at the 2004 Junior Olympics.[3] At the 2006 AHSAA State T&F Meet, he took silver in the long jump event, recording a career-best leap of 6.86 meters (22 ft, 4.5 in).[4] He had personal-best times of 10.53 seconds in the 100-meter dash and 22.39 seconds in the 200-meter dash during his high school career.[5]

College career[edit]

After high school Munnerlyn was recruited by South Carolina, West Virginia and Kansas State. He chose South Carolina on January 13, 2006.[6] As a freshman, Munnerlyn was not redshirted and played in 12 games. He missed one game due to an infection in his forearm. For the season, he recorded 36 tackles with his season high of five coming against Tennessee and Houston. Munnerlyn also recorded two interceptions and five pass deflections.[2]

In 2007, as a sophomore, Munnerlyn split time at cornerback and kick returner and was called a "shut down corner" on[7] Against Vanderbilt, to whom South Carolina lost 17–6, Munnerlyn returned a punt 46 yards and also forced a fumble.[8] In the same game, South Carolina wide receiver Kenny McKinley fielded a punt and flipped it to Munnerlyn who gained eight yards.[9] Following, the season he was named First–team All–SEC.[2]

Head coach Steve Spurrier benched Munnerlyn for the first series[10] against Ole Miss due to Munnerlyn missing class and team weightlifting sessions.[11] Against Kentucky, Munnerlyn returned a kickoff 84 yards before being tackled on the 16 yard line. On the next play quarterback Stephen Garcia completed a touchdown pass to Kenny McKinley.[12] In the same game, Munnerlyn returned a blocked field goal for an 81 yard touchdown.[13]

He declared for the NFL Draft following the 2008 season.[14]

Professional career[edit]

2009 NFL Combine[edit]

Pre-draft measurables
Ht Wt 40-yd dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert Broad BP
5 ft 9 in 182 lb 4.41 s 1.48 s 2.55 s 4.04 s 7.05 s 37.5 in 10 ft 1 in 19 reps
All values from NFL Combine

Carolina Panthers[edit]

Munnerlyn was drafted by the Carolina Panthers in the seventh round of the 2009 NFL Draft. He called being drafted by the Panthers, "exciting because I played college ball at South Carolina, and that's only like an hour away. It was exciting to hear my name get called. I'm ready for it, ready to take my game to the next level."[14] In the 2009 preseason, he was competing with wide receiver Ryne Robinson for the punt returner job. In the Panthers second preseason game against the Miami Dolphins, Munnerlyn returned a punt 58 yards and also fumbled one but recovered it, while Robinson fumbled a punt which the Dolphins recovered.[15]

He eventually won the punt return job as well as the third cornerback job beating out C. J. Wilson and Sherrod Martin for the job by the end of September.[1] On November 30, Munnerlyn suffered a concussion against the New York Jets but said days later that he planned on playing in the next game despite the NFL's changing of the concussion policy.[16] Munnerlyn did not play the following week's game but returned the next week against the New England Patriots.[17] He completed the 2009 season playing in 15 games total as the Panthers finished 3rd in the NFC South with 8 wins and 8 losses.

Dec. 23, 2011 Panthers placed CB Captain Munnerlyn (hamstring) on injured reserve, ending his season.

For his second season, Munnerlyn moved up to starting right cornerback after Richard Marshall was not re-signed.

Minnesota Vikings[edit]

March 13, 2014, Munnerlyn signed a three-year, $14.25 million contract with the Minnesota Vikings.[18] Munnerlyn ended his first year with the Minnesota Vikings with 60 combined tackles, one fumble recovery, 2 interceptions and 4 pass deflections.


When asked why his name is Captain, Munnerlyn said, "My momma promised my grandmomma that she could name the last child. I was the boy of the family, and she named me Captain. Her great grandfather was named Captain, so I got named after my great-great grandfather. My sisters and brothers have normal names. I got the odd name. In the beginning it was kind of rough. Kids used to tease me a little, but it fits my personality, because I feel like I'm a leader."[14] Munnerlyn majored in criminal justice while at South Carolina.[2]


  1. ^ a b Chandler, Charles (September 28, 2009). "Moving up the ranks". The Post and Courier. Retrieved 21 December 2009. 
  2. ^ a b c d "#1 Captain Munnerlyn". South Carolina Gamecocks. Retrieved 2009-08-22. 
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Captain Munnerlyn". Retrieved 2009-08-22. 
  7. ^ Hood, Scott (September 27, 2007). "Munnerlyn spearheads surging secondary". Retrieved 2009-08-22. 
  8. ^ Haney, Travis (October 21, 2007). "Cock 'n' Misfire". The Carolina Post and Courier. Retrieved 2009-08-22. 
  9. ^ Fasteneau, Stephen (October 20, 2007). "Gamecocks try a few trick plays". Retrieved 2009-08-22. 
  10. ^ Burger, Ken (October 5, 2008). "What a difference a win makes". The Carolina Post and Courier. Retrieved 2009-08-22. 
  11. ^ "Spurrier might sit standout CB Munnerlyn". Associated Press (The Sporting News). September 30, 2008. Retrieved 2009-08-22. 
  12. ^ Sapakoff, Gene (October 12, 2008). "Captain marvel: Munnerlyn does it all". The Carolina Post and Courier. Retrieved 2009-08-22. 
  13. ^ "Munnerlyn sparks South Carolina". Minneapolis Star Tribune. October 11, 2008. Retrieved 2009-08-22. 
  14. ^ a b c "Captain Munnerlyn Q&A". Carolina Panthers. April 26, 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-22. 
  15. ^ Reed, Steve (August 22, 2009). "GAME NOTES: All-Pro Beason will have an MRI on injured knee". Gaston Gazette. Retrieved 2009-08-23. 
  16. ^ "Players hope concussion rules ease peer pressure". Associated Press (The Sporting News). December 4, 2009. Retrieved 21 December 2009. 
  17. ^ [ /gamelogs?id=MUN472912 "Captain Munnerlyn: Game Logs"]. Retrieved 11 January 2010. [dead link]
  18. ^ Captain Munnerlyn, Minnesota Vikings strike contract

External links[edit]