Bunting’s ‘tough’ recruitment leads to motivation as top cornerback
On a chilly January day in 2015, Dan Enos resigned from his position as Central Michigan football head coach to go to Arkansas.
The moment Enos’ departure was official it also meant that Sean Bunting had lost his scholarship offer.
"I got offered after my senior football season by Enos. He came to one of my basketball games on a Tuesday and offered me on the spot,” Bunting said.
Excited about the opportunity to become a Chippewa, Bunting received the scholarship offer from Enos in early January. An in-home visit scheduled at his house in Clinton Township. The day before his in-home visit, Bunting learned of Enos’ resignation. Enos never showed up for the meeting.
“It happened before signing day, so I didn’t know what to do next,” Bunting said. “I was being heavily recruited by Ferris State, Saginaw Valley State and Northwood, but I wanted to go to CMU. I knew I could play Division I football.”
On Feb. 4, National Signing Day, Bunting was scheduled to make an appearance at Chippewa Valley High School to sign with Ferris State. Instead, Bunting thought of the Chippewas.
He had second thoughts about Ferris State and skipped the signing.
Two weeks later his mother Kimberly stepped in.
“My mom called me and asked me what I was doing tomorrow,” Bunting said. “She basically said we needed to drive up to (CMU) and figure something out.”
Taking I-75 North from Clinton Township to Mount Pleasant for just below 150 miles, Kimberly drove her son to meet with new head coach John Bonamego. Little did Bunting know, he had been on Bonamego’s radar for weeks.
“As soon as I got there, I had to go to the bathroom,” Bunting said. “When I came out, my mom was talking to coach Bono and he said he was getting ready to call me. He brought me down to his office and offered me the grayshirt opportunity there.
“Right away, I said, ‘Where are the papers? Let me sign.’ God blessed me with an opportunity to be here.”
Instead of paying for his first semester of school and waiting until the second semester to be on scholarship like most grayshirt prospects, Bunting decided to wait it out.
He did not start classes in Mount Pleasant until January, which is when he became a full-time scholarship student-athlete.
“It was frustrating but I was still around football,” Bunting said. “My high school coach had me come back and help coach them. It hurt being in the room watching the games because I knew the guys I was getting recruited with were dressed and ready to go.”
When he finally arrived on campus, Bunting started as a safety. He tried switching to receiver a couple of times, but has now solidified himself as a top cornerback for CMU, weighing in at 180 pounds.
“They had me at safety and I had to tackle dudes like Devon Spalding, who was 215, 220 (pounds) back there,” Bunting said. “I knew that wouldn’t work, so they switched me cornerback. I texted coach and asked to play receiver."
Bonamego told Bunting he needed to make a choice: he could work to be an average receiver or try to become an NFL-caliber corner.
"From that day, it was motivation,” Bunting said.
Losing seniors Amari Coleman, Josh Cox and Darwyn Kelly to graduation, the junior to-be is left to command the secondary.
“We lost a big portion of our secondary, so we just want to establish our identity again,” Bunting said. “As long as we do what we are supposed to do, we will be satisfied.”