When Michigan free safety Ryan Mundy was asked what he liked
most about his position, the true sophomore starter didn’t
hesitate at all.

“Getting interceptions,” Mundy said. “Being a
post safety, I can sit back and read the quarterback and break on
the ball.”

The Wilkins Township, Pa., native — who comes from the
same high school as Michigan wide receiver Steve Breaston —
has had his opportunities to catch the football in the secondary in
his first two games as a starter.

In the season opener against Miami (Ohio), Red Hawk quarterback
Josh Betts had a pass bounce off a Miami receiver’s chest,
fly backward and fall into the hands of Mundy. Mundy then proceeded
to run the ball back 38 yards, setting up Michigan’s first
points of the season.

During last week’s game against Notre Dame, cornerback
Marcus Curry tipped a pass that Mundy laid out for and picked off,
temporarily halting the Notre Dame momentum.

Two games. Two picks. Not bad.

Mundy hasn’t spent much time in Ann Arbor sitting on the
bench. When Michigan kicked off last season against Central
Michigan, Mundy was there on the kickoff team.

Now, after playing a year on special teams, Mundy is a young
star on one of the most experienced units on the Michigan team
— the secondary. The unit includes Curry and likely future
NFL first-round draft picks Marlin Jackson and Ernest Shazor.

“They’re a great group of guys,” Mundy said.
“They try to guide me throughout the way.”

Mundy says that Jackson, also a Pennsylvania native, has been a
great mentor to him ever since he’s been at Michigan.

“We had that special bond because we’re both from
Pennsylvania,” Mundy said. “He’s really been a
big brother to me ever since I got here. He’s shared his
experiences with me in how he got in trouble in everything.
He’s guided me in what I should do.”

Mundy impressed the coaching staff with his poise and has fit
into the position with relative ease.

“One of the reasons we played with him is that we liked
his maturity,” Michigan coach Lloyd Carr said.
“He’s a smart guy, and it was obvious that he
didn’t have to wait. I can say this — it’s
unusual for a guy to step in and start as a free safety and play as
well as he has in the first two games. I can say what he has done
has really been impressive.”

Mundy also considered going to North Carolina State and
Pittsburgh, near his hometown, but it was the allure of the Big
House that brought him to Michigan.

“This place is like no other,” Mundy said.
“(At other places), I can’t play in front 110,000
people every home game.”

Mundy also added that he never seriously considered playing for
what used to be the biggest football power in the northeast, Penn
State.

“I did (consider Penn State) early on,” Mundy said.
“But (State College is) really not my type of
town.”

Instead, Mundy is part of an ever-growing contingent of players
from Pennsylvania that are playing at Michigan. In addition to
Jackson and Breaston, linebacker Scott McClintock and tight end Tim
Massaquoi also hail from the Keystone State. Mundy is just trying
to enjoy what he calls “the time of his life.”

“I think the sky’s the limit for him, because
he’s got good size, he’s got good athleticism and
he’s smart,” Carr said.

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