CORAL GABLES, Fla.--No dream comes true without sacrifice and these young men have worked to make their dream of playing at the U come true. Here are the men behind the sacrifice...
Malcolm Bunche | Offensive Line | Redshirt Freshman | Newark, Del.
My favorite song right now is "How Can You Mend a Broken Heart" by Al Green. I'm an old school guy. That's one of my favorites.
When I was six years old, I was into working out. My dad had me going to the gym. I wasn't lifting heavy weights or anything like that, but he was trying to get me into the atmosphere of it. I was doing a lot of push-ups, sit-ups, and running. I was athletic way early.
I'm a Hurricane because I love the school. I love the tradition. I love the program. I love my teammates; they're like brothers to me. I love what's coming in the future.
The Golden Era is an uprising. I think this year we're going to do some good things. He's already done some good things since he's been here. I'm really excited for the future, for us and Coach Golden.
I'll never forget when I was recruited by Miami. They were the last school to recruit me. It was like a month before signing day, and Coach Barrow was actually recruiting a kid in New Jersey. The coach there told him if he needed offensive linemen, there's a kid in Delaware by the name of Malcolm Bunche. He came to my school, and we hooked up a little bit. He talked about transcripts, he viewed my highlight film, and the rest is history.
It was a surprise. The school that was in contact with me from down here was mainly the University of South Florida. To know that Miami and Coach Barrow were looking at me, I now had a broad range of schools that I could choose from. It was a plus.
In the end, Miami was very family-oriented. I have a lot of family down in Florida, and I have a lot of uncles who are die-hard Canes fans. Plus, I loved the school. I didn't feel like I had to go here, I was comfortable with it.
Competition is big here. That's what the coaches focus on, competing everyday we're out on the practice field. Coach Kehoe is always talking about competing. He always says the depth chart is written in sand, so you know that no one has their spot yet. You can beat somebody out, somebody can beat you out. We're always competing.
Coach Kehoe is a funny guy. He's energetic. He's determined. He's a great guy to be around. I can't wait for the next few years with Coach Kehoe.
Other than football, I'm talented at golf. I really don't know what I shoot, but I've been playing golf since I was four years old. I've been playing ever since I got clubs. Me and my dad, we go play all the time. There was a tournament in Pennsylvania a few years back, where my dad and I finished in second place. It's a bonding experience, playing golf with my dad.
My parents are separated. I have three sisters, two older sisters and a baby sister. We're all athletic. My older sister was a point guard in basketball and she was a sprinter in track and had offers for both. My middle sister, was a long-distance runner. They both went to school on athletic scholarship. My baby sister, she's only five years old, and I love her to death. She's getting there. She's taller than some boys her age. I think she might play basketball.
Transitioning to Miami, as it relates to football, was hard because of the speed. Delaware is a lot of running. We didn't do a lot of passing. It's run-oriented football. When you get down here, you get everything. The speed is faster and everyone is stronger. Aside from football, the weather was the biggest change for me. You get used to it, though, with Coach Swasey having us out there running all the time. Sometimes though the humidity makes me wish I was back in Delaware.
Delaware isn't a party-type state. Everyone is relaxed. There are a lot of old people. From the bottom to the top is only an hour and forty-five minutes. It's quick, but hey, it's the first state. No taxes.
I was raised in a family that pushed me. They were disciplinarians. If I acted up, I got in trouble. If I did what I was supposed to do, they rewarded me.
People might be surprised to know that my dad played in the NFL. He was a defensive end. He went to Albany State in Georgia and was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles. He played with Pittsburgh and when the USFL came around, he played with the Tampa Bay Bandits. He had the second-most sacks in the league behind Reggie White in the USFL.
I have a ways to go. Moving from right guard to tackle, you're out on an island with the defensive end. Right guard was fun. I love pulling and the power blocks were my favorite. I think I'll have fun at tackle too, especially practicing against Adewale Ojomo and Olivier Vernon and all of them.
The offensive line came together and clicked. I can't say I have a ton in common with some of the guys. They love to fish, and I don't know the first thing about fishing (laughs). They're like my brothers. If they need something from me, I got it. If I need something from them, they got it. We hang out all the time, even on days when we don't have to go out. We'll go get dinner, go to the movies, chill, barbeque, whatever. That's what we do. We work on the football field as a unit, and off the field we're a unit. Jermaine Johnson is my roommate now. Before I was coming to Miami, he was the guy that I would talk to on Facebook and stuff. Low and behold, we're roommates. He's one of my closest friends. Everybody on the offensive line is my boy.
At the U, I've learned so much from Joel Figueroa. Figs is like a big brother to me. Ever since I got here, he's always encouraged me, and when I do something wrong, he's on me. He's constantly teaching me and also everybody else, because he's a veteran. He's an old head. I've learned a lot from him.
I started playing football at the peewee level. In high school, I played defensive tackle and defensive end, as well as every position on the offensive line. Freshman year I played center, and sophomore through senior year they had different packages, so I would play guard or tackle. In high school, there aren't that many plays. I guess you can say I'm flexible when it comes to offensive line. That's why when they told me I was moving to left tackle, I kind of knew about the footwork and stance, so I was comfortable. I still got a long way to go to be a great left tackle. I'm on my way though.
Protecting the quarterback is my job. We have to protect the quarterback. He's the one that puts points on the board. He's like a brother. You have to protect him and know what you're doing out on the field, especially the running backs. It's fun when you see him throw the ball for a touchdown or when a running back goes in and out for a touchdown, because you know you did your job.
When I played football as a kid, I couldn't pretend to be anyone because I was so big (laughs). I knew at a young age that I was a lineman and that I wouldn't be a running back. I knew I was an offensive lineman, and I focused on that. My dad ingrained that in my head. Now, I like Walter Jones and Orlando Pace.
I get my style from my dad. He was a working guy. He owned a car dealership, so I used to watch him get up every morning, put on his slacks, his ties, his shirts. I liked it. He had gator boots, he had a hat, cufflinks and a nice watch. My dad was old school, he's from down south. So I guess you can say I get it from my dad. I would ride with him to work when I was younger, listen to old school jams and we would vibe to it. I didn't complain, because I liked it.
We are all blessed. I look at my teammates, and we are all gifted. We're all special. We're athletic, we're strong, we're smart, and so I think we're all blessed. We're alive. We are here at the University of Miami, playing at the most highly touted university in the country. I think we are all blessed.
The song no one would believe I have on my iPod is something from A Tribe Called Quest. A lot of old school people know Tribe, but I got a vibe for them.
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