Cetera Bunche on younger brother and soon-to-be UM transfer Malcom: "He's in the best situation that any 22-year-old college transfer could ever be in.''
I spoke to the older sister and briefly to the father of UM offensive lineman Malcom Bunche, who is transferring to a yet-to-be-determined university to play his final season.
Malcolm, from Newark, Delaware, earned his bachelor's degree in liberal arts last month, and thus will be eligible to play immediately as a graduate student. His father, Curtis Bunche, told me today that Malcolm earned a "mid-grade'' draft evaluation by the NFL Draft Advisory Board, but that he wants to get more experience on the college level.
"He worked really hard in the classroom but he just kind of felt like he wanted to see what was out there,'' said Cetera Bunch, his sister. "With degree in hand he's going to try a bigger school, definitely a public school.''
Bunche, 6-7 and 327 pounds, played both guard and tackle sparingly in 12 games this season, making his lone start at left guard in the season opener against FAU.
Bunche was rated as a four-star recruit, and attended Milford Prep in New York for one semester.
In the recent bowl loss to Louisville, Bunche came into the game once during an extra point on special teams. In 2012 he started all 12 games at left tackle.
Cetera Bunche, a Miami-based personal trainer who ran track at Hampton University in Virginia, wouldn't divulge the schools with which he has been in contact, but suffice it to say that she hinted they were big-time, public-school programs. Florida State is out, since Malcolm is not allowed to transfer to any ACC school, or to any opponent of UM's for next season.
The Gators are out, too.
"I would never wear orange and blue,'' Cetera said. "We only have room for one set of orange in our closets, and that's orange and green. We love Miami. Our whole family loves Miami. Malcolm has a great relationship with [offensive line] Coach [Art] Kehoe.
"They played him very minimally this season, but Malcolm doesn't play the blame game. He's actually grateful. What my parents have taught us is if you want things to change, change the way you do things. So this was a very mature decision on his part.
"He's in a really good situation. He's in the best situation that any 22-year-old college transfer could ever be in. He has a great opportunity to show the world his college potential -- again. He has a variety of choices.''
Curtis Bunche said his son ''loves Art Kehoe but told his dad, "Pops, I want to see what it's like at a bigger university.''
Curtis Bunche said Malcolm also told him: "I didn't play much this year and after the fourth or fifth game it taught me to be more patient and supportive'' of the other linemen.
Two veteran starters on UM's line -- tackle Seantrel Henderson and guard Brandon Linder -- just finished their senior seasons and will enter the NFL Draft. Guard/Center Jared Wheeler also is leaving after finishing his senior season.
The left side of UM's line should be set with rising junior tackle Ereck Flowers and rising senior guard Jon Feliciano returning. Shane McDermott returns at center.
The Hurricanes like guard Danny Isidora, who broke his foot early in fall camp and played in two games. So expect him to battle for the starting spot on the right side as a redshirt sophomore. Also on the line will be promising 6-8 redshirt freshman tackle Sunny Odogwu, as well as Hunter Wells, Hunter Knighton and Alex Gall.
Two early enrollees are considered key future linemen: tackle Kc McDermott of Palm Beach Central and guard Trevor Darling of Miami Central. Expected to arrive in the summer are commitments Nick Linder at guard/center and Reilly Gibbons.
SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN