Report: Sunseri going pro early
Former Marvin Ridge High star Vinnie Sunseri is going pro early, according to multiple media reports.
Sunseri announced he will bypass his senior season at Alabama and enter the NFL Draft.
A 6-foot, 210-pound strong safety, Sunseri had his junior season cut short by a knee injury (torn ACL). Sunseri is ahead of schedule with his rehabilitation.
He had knee surgery in October and was running less than two months later. His goal is to recovery within four months and participate at the NFL Combine Feb. 22-25 in Indianapolis.
A contributor on Alabama's 2011 and 2012 national championship teams, Sunseri was projected to go in the second or third round before the injury.
CBSsports.com ranks Sunseri the fourth-best strong safety prospect in the junior class.
Sunseri had two interceptions as a junior, and returned both for touchdowns. He had a pick-six against Texas A&M, juking Aggies QB Johnny Manziel before crossing the goal line.
Sunseri started eight games and played in all 14 as a sophomore. He was fourth on the team in tackles with 54 and also had two interceptions.
Sunseri made 31 tackles as a true freshman, which ranked ninth on the Crimson Tide's 2011 national championship team.
Sunseri was voted Alabama's special teams player of the week five times as a freshman by the coaching staff and made the SEC's all-Freshman team.
His special teams skills make him more marketable in the NFL, where versatility is coveted.
Sunseri played three varsity seasons at Marvin Ridge as a middle linebacker and running back.
He was voted The Enquirer-Journal's Union County Defensive Player of the Year in 2009 after having five interceptions and 107 tackles.
He moved to Alabama as a senior to live closer to his dad, who was an assistant coach for the Tide.
Sunseri is legendary for making 19 tackles against Piedmont as a sophomore with a leg injury that an MRI later revealed to be a fracture in his leg.
Sunseri broke his leg on a Monday in a makeup game against A.L. Brown, and played against Piedmont four days later. He had the MRI on the following Sunday in Panthers Stadium, where he was a ball boy for the team while his father, Sal, was Carolina's defensive line coach.
Sunseri was a first-team all-UC pick as a sophomore and made second-team all-county as a freshman.
Sunseri will be one of the youngest players in the NFL. He's 20 years old and doesn't turn 21 until Sept. 27.
The NFL requires players to be three years removed from their senior year of high school before entering the draft.