John Dunford puts Munir Prince under the spotlight.
Dunford: When I first met and interviewed you at the US Army Game you were committed to Iowa. You didn't want to look around at other colleges, even though many had interest in you. Then you went to Notre Dame for their first junior day. Then you decommitted from Iowa, opened your recruiting up, and then committed to Notre Dame. Why did you switch from Iowa to Notre Dame?
Prince: The main reason why I switched over is because Iowa had recruited several runningbacks. They didn't make that clear to me when I committed there. Because of that, I kind of felt that they were lieing to me. Then I went to Notre Dame, liked the campus, and found out more about their academics. Coach Weis is also such a great coach, and I knew I wanted to be a part of their rebuilding process.
Dunford: Talk about what you bring to the table at the running back position.
Prince: I am a complete running back. I can catch the ball out of the backfield, carry the ball twenty times a game, and when I get out in the open, people can't catch me when I break away.
Dunford: How do you feel about Notre Dame bringing in another running back in James Aldridge?
Prince: First of all, James and I have been friends since sixth grade. We played with each other in junior high. When I think about it, it's really going to be a privilege to play with one of the players I played with in junior high. We already talked to each other about the competition. We decided that better man wins and that there won't be any bad feelings. It's kind of like Ronnie Brown and Cadillac Williams at Auburn. The shared carries and we'll share carries. Plus, the competition will make each of us better.
Dunford: Who are some players you really admire?
Prince: One player I really admired was Walter Payton. He ran the ball so hard, and he always went for the extra yard. I also like Emmitt Smith. He wasn't the biggest or the fastest, but he and the heart of the champion.
Dunford: Who is your biggest role model?
Prince: My number one role model is my dad. He didn't come from the most prosperous family, but he set goals, reached them, and has worked his way up. He is pretty much my best friend as well. He taught me things on and off the field.
Dunford: What number do you wan to wear at Notre Dame?
Prince: Number seven. It's been my number since I can remember. I think a quarterback at Notre Dame has it right now, but hopefully I can get it when I get there. Ever since I was seven I've been wearing it. It's my number and I don't play without it.
Dunford: What are your favorite subjects?
Prince: I would have to say math and history right now. I like history because I like seeing how different events changed the world and how people have made a big, positive impact on the world. Right now we are studying the Cold War. We are talking about Nixon and how he was involved with Watergate.
Dunford: Where do you see Notre Dame in two years?
Prince: In two years Notre Dame will be back on top. Coach Weis is a great coach. He is dedicated and with the help of others in this class and myself, we'll be back on top like the Miami's and Oklahoma's.
Dunford: Some people talk about how Notre Dame's academic standards are too high, and that's why they aren't doing so well on the football field. What do you think when people say that?
Prince: People stereotype athletes as being just dumb jocks, but there are numerous athletes that have the ability to perform on and off the field. Coach Weis is trying to build people. If you can build people's lives after football, then they will be successful. You can build a program the right way through hard work. Some schools are willing to sacrifice academics for hard work. But at Notre Dame they want to do it the hard way. They want you to work, and that's why I want to be a part of Notre Dame.
Dunford: Has Coach Weis stopped by your school? Prince: Coach Weis said he is going to stop by in late May. He called me yesterday and talked to my family.
Dunford: What did your family think of him?
Prince: My family is very impresses by him. They like how he stands for academics, as well as football. They like the fact that I wouldn't be getting a bubble gum degree.
Dunford: What is a bubble gum degree?
Prince: It's a degree that doesn't get you anywhere in life. It's a degree that you use to get by in life, but in reality it won't get you by in life.
Dunford: Do you have any pregame rituals or routines?
Prince: I've got to listen to Jay-Z and then 50 cent to set the mood. I like "Big Pippin" and "99 problems" from Jay-Z, and "In the Club" and "Disco Inferno" by 50 cent. Any songs by those two artists will get me hyped before a game.
Dunford: Take the readers through what went through your head when Coach Weis offered you a scholarship.
Prince: Before I came there I was already disappointed with Iowa with how they went behind my back the way they did, so I wasn't totally with Iowa at that point. Then I spoke to Coach Weis. He seemed like an honorable guy. Then he offered me. I didn't want to make the same mistake twice, I thought about it, went back there, saw that Coach Weis hadn't changed, and then I decided that Notre Dame was the place for me and that I want to play for a guy like that.
Dunford: Have you done any recruiting for Notre Dame?
Prince: Aldridge and (teammate Paddy)Mullen. I recruited those two. Coach Weis didn't give me any assignments, but if he needs me to get somebody, I'll just go out and get that person.
Dunford: Do you talk to any Notre Dame prospects? Prince: The quarterback from Chicago, Demetrius Jones, I've spoken to him. I have his number in my phone. I called him the same day as the junior day just to see what he was thinking.
Dunford: What are your summer plans?
Prince: Putting on weight. I'll be training with Brain Lewis. He played for Indiana. He is going to get me ready for my senior season and my college career. We plan on lifting about five times a week, taking the weekend off to recuperate, and then getting right back to it the next week. Then our first camp is on May 31. My team might go to the Illinois 7-on-7 camp and the Missouri 7-on-7 camp.
Dunford: What about Notre Dame's camp?
Prince: No, I won't be going there. I'll be focusing on getting my weight up and getting my hips a little more opened.
Dunford: How does Missouri compare to Indiana?
Prince: It's funny, James and I argue about that topic all the time. He argues about how the only reason why he rushed for more yards than me last year was because Missouri football is way more tougher than Indiana football. I played football down in Florida my freshman year. I played varsity, but down in Florida there are fast players everywhere on the field. They don't have better players then up here, they just have better overall speed. Plus, down there you can play all year round. That really makes a difference.
Dunford: How often do you and James speak?
Prince: It's funny, I just got done talking to him a few minutes ago. We talk about every other day. He's supposed to be coming down here this weekend. We don't have any specific plans yet. We are kind of the spur of the moment people.
Dunford: No offense, but what is there to do in Missouri when you go out?Prince: I'm really into bowling right now. I went a while ago and bowled a 170. Now I go more frequently. I like bowling. Then there is the movies and the other regular stuff like going to the mall and playing Madden. I don't like going to clubs. I'm not too big into the club scene.
Dunford: What Madden games do you play? What team are you?
Prince: I play with the Carolina Panthers. Deshaun Foster, you can't stop him. Then you mix in the power of Stephen Davis.
Dunford: Have you made any significant trades with the Carolina Panthers?
Prince: Right now I'm trying to get Mark Brunell. Julius Peppers is awesome on that game.
Dunford: What about Notre Dame on NCAA Football?
Prince: Man, Notre Dame as some work to do on that game. It just seems like all of their players are slower than everybody else's. But, you know we should have that straight by 2007.