Alabama's Crimson Collar Worker -- Vinnie Sunseri -- 2012 Difference Maker

For every ten 5-star athletes that play for Nick Saban on the way to the NFL, there's one 3-star guy that just makes plays.  They don't arrive as spectacular players, but they always do what's expected and usually show steady improvement year after year. By the time they are seniors, they become solid and accountable guys that really thrive around 5-star studs.

[caption id="attachment_617" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Cory Reamer sniffing out the pigskin. Ha. Pigskin. BIG PUN! "][/caption]

Linebacker Cory Reamer (Rivals 3-star signee in 2005) was part of Alabama's 2009 national championship team, but the average fan wouldn't list him as one of the great players on that dominant squad, but 'Bama fans remember him.  Why?  Did he get the game winning play versus Auburn? No. Did he record three sacks in a game? No. But you never saw him whiff on a tackle or get blown up by some running back that wanted that extra yard more than Reamer wanted to deny it.


Corey Reamer


Hoover, AL




3 stars

There is one guy getting ready for Spring practice in Tuscaloosa this week that could really make an impact in 2012.  And by impact, I literally mean an impact on some poor soul that's carrying the ball or just simply in the way.

[caption id="attachment_618" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Vinnie was once hit by a car. The car was cleared two weeks later to drive again. "][/caption]

Vinnie Sunseri (Rivals 3-star signee in 2011) will be a sophomore in 2012 and is coming off a freshman season that saw him leave kickoff return men and running backs wishing they'd just taken a knee.

Vinnie doesn't jump off the roster sheet by any means. His tale of the tape is nothing to scoff at, but he's not exactly the second coming of Jevon Kearse either.

Vinnie Sunseri


Tuscaloosa, AL Northridge





2012 will have no room for a few impressive hits here and there.  2011 afforded Sunseri time to learn and time to get acquainted with the defense while laying the smack down on occasion.  Sunseri will be expected to contribute to a very talented, but relatively green defense this upcoming season.

'Bama fans are salivating because he hits like a linebacker with the range to cover the field like a safety. He may not be as quick as departed strong safety Mark Barron, but his hits may be a little harder, so that helps even things out a bit.

If Alabama can get energizing, hard-hitting play from Sunseri in 2012, don't be surprised if Alabama's fall-off on defense is minimal. The hard hitting on special teams -- with teammate and fellow 2011 freshman Trey DePriest -- was a great segue for the 'Tide defense and it didn't go unnoticed.

"Oh, man. Them boys go down there and bust some heads," said cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick during the 2011 national championship campaign. "And that's what we need. We build off their energy. They're going to start the game off.  Whatever kind of momentum or energy they bring to the game we're going to feed off of it."

[caption id="attachment_619" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Vinnie's just one of the guys. Look at him. Just sitting up there at the BCS Championship Game winning another title for Alabama."][/caption]

Vinnie saw sporadic, but meaningful, playing throughout the entire national championship season.  By the BCS Championship Game against LSU, Sunseri was becoming more than just a special teams stud on kickoff returns. Sunseri recorded a pass breakup and considering Jordan Jefferson only threw the ball 17 times, one pass breakup is pretty impressive. It's also very impressive because it quiet possibly could have been the only ball thrown anywhere close to a Tiger receiver -- it was the only pass breakup the entire game for the 'Tide defense.

2011 Sunseri Game-by-Game Stats

9/3 Kent State W 48-7 6 3 3 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
9/10 @Penn State W 27-11 No statistics available.
9/17 North Texas W 41-0 6 3 3 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
9/24 Arkansas W 38-14 2 0 2 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
10/1 @Florida W 38-10 1 1 0 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
10/8 Vanderbilt W 34-0 No statistics available.
10/15 @Ole Miss W 52-7 5 4 1 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
10/22 Tennessee W 37-6 2 1 1 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
11/5 LSU L 9-6 (OT) No statistics available.
11/12 @Mississippi State W 24-7 No statistics available.
11/19 Georgia Southern W 45-21 1 1 0 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
11/26 @Auburn W 42-14 6 4 2 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

*Stats provided by ESPN

[caption id="attachment_620" align="alignleft" width="229" caption="Hey, wait. That's not Vinnie Sunseri. The "3" on Vinnie's jersey is just a hair bigger. "][/caption]

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