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Top 25 MAC Football Players of 2018: #23 Sean Bunting, DB, Central Michigan

Our run of defensive backs continues with the new CB1 in Mt. Pleasant.

NCAA Football: Central Michigan at Syracuse Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Sean Bunting has always believed in himself.

The six-foot-one, 185 lb. defensive back only had one Division I offer coming out of Chippewa Valley High School in Clinton, Michigan, and it was pulled back at the last possible minute.

Bunting had originally committed to Central Michigan under then-head coach Dan Enos as a senior, but Enos resigned two weeks prior to National Signing Day to take an offensive coordinator position at Arkansas, leaving Bunting (among many others) in the dark about their status as Chippewas.

Bunting, who had multiple Division II offers, stuck out the maelstrom, and eventually new head coach John Bonamego gave him a greyshirt offer he didn’t refuse. That decision has paid massive dividends for the rising junior cornerback, who has gone on to secure a full-time stater role fairly quickly in his time in Mt. Pleasant.

After seeing great playing time in the 2016 season, Bunting flourished in his first full season as a starter, finishing second in the MAC and tied for 11th in the country with five interceptions. Bunting also contributed 49 tackles from the corner spot, including half a tackle for loss, five defended passes, one fumble recovery and two forced fumbles, efforts good enough to garner Bunting first-team All-MAC consideration for the upcoming season from Athlon Sports.

Bunting helped to lead one of the nation’s best coverage units in 2017, as the Chippewas collected 19 interceptions, good enough for seventh in the country.

Bunting will be taking a new leadership role with the team, as the secondary takes massive losses due to graduation, including starting safety Darwyn Kelly, starting corner Amari Coleman and starting defensive back Josh Cox. This leaves the Chippewas young, but with great potential moving forward and will most certainly be a test of if Bunting’s numbers last season were an aberration or if they’re indicative of true talent.

The argument could well be made that if it weren’t for stacked secondary play in the conference last season, Bunting may have earned a spot on one of the the 2017 post-season teams. The good news about a new season is that he’ll most definitely get a chance to prove to media and college football fans he belongs in the conversation for best corner in the conference.