Name: SEAN MURPHY-BUNTING
TEAM: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
HT/WT: 6' 1", 190 lbs
DOB: 6/19/1997 (23)
COLLEGE: Central Michigan University
DRAFT INFO: 2019: Rd 2, Pk 39 (TB)
EXPERIENCE: 4th Season
BIRTHPLACE: Detroit, MI
Tampa Bay Buccaneer Cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting exploded in the 2020 playoffs, making an interception in each of Tampa Bay's three playoff victories. He is the first NFL player to record three picks in his first three career playoff games since Hall of Famer Ed Reed did it with the Baltimore Ravens. Two of Murphy-Bunting’s playoff interceptions came against quarterbacks destined for gold jackets, Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints and Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers. In February 2020, Murphy-Bunting starred in and won his first Superbowl Championship alongside Tom Brady vs Patrick Mahomes and The Kansas City Chiefs.
Murphy-Bunting has completed his 3rd NFL season with the Tampa Bay-Buccaneers. He has developed into a solid NFL starter at cornerback, racking up 177 tackles and four interceptions in 41 career regular-season games and 3 post season playoff interceptions. Ball Hawk Murphy-Bunting has a total of 7 career interceptions in his first three seasons in the NFL
Surprisingly, a three-sport athlete, Murphy-Bunting was not heavily recruited out of high school, having received only one late scholarship offer. Nonetheless, he made the most of it. At Central Michigan University, Bunting put together an impressive resume. He played in 38 career games at Central Michigan (2016-18), starting 25, totaling 104 tackles (3.5 for loss), 15 passes defensed, seven interceptions, four forced fumbles and a fumble recovery. Murphy-Bunting was named first-team All-Mid-American Conference and Chippewas' Defensive Player of the Year as a junior (2018). Foregoing his final year of eligibility, he entered the NFL Draft.
In 2019, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers selected cornerback Sean Bunting with the 39th overall pick. Murphy-Bunting exceeded others’ expectations and had an exceptional rookie season. He played in all 16 games, with 10 starts, recording 51 tackles, including one for loss, recorded first career sack (Deshaun Watson) and first career forced fumble in start vs. Houston (12/21). He recorded 8 passes defended and finished the season with a team-leading three interceptions (one returned for 70-yard touchdown in his home state of Michigan against the Detroit Lions). His three interceptions tied for the most among all NFL rookies. His impressive play earned him a spot on the 28-man, 2019 all-rookie squad released by the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA).
In his second NFL season, Murphy-Bunting developed into a solid NFL starter at cornerback. He played in all 16 games, with 13 starts, recording 87 tackles, including 1 force fumble, 3 tackles for loss, 3 passes defended and 1 interception.
Sidelined for over half his third season in the NFL due to injury and illness, Murphy-Bunting still was determined to contribute, racking up an impressive 39 tackles, 26 solo, 13 assists and 3 pass defends. The downtime he experienced in season three, provided Murphy-Bunting time to reflect on his value to his community on and off the field. His efforts through Successful Jocks brought mentorship, food, clothing and so many other blessings to hundreds of children and their families.
Family is a tremendous source for Murphy-Bunting’s incredible inner strength. Just after he was drafted, Sean Bunting became known as Sean Murphy-Bunting. He made the name change to honor his mother and the sacrifices she made for him and his brothers growing up. Prior to his second NFL season, Murphy-Bunting made another change – he swapped jersey numbers from 26 to 23, a change also inspired by his love of family. Murphy-Bunting said he has always loved the number 23, but that it symbolized his five brothers, 2 younger and 3 older.
"At the end of the day, I play for my family, and I play for the name on the front of my jersey," Murphy-Bunting said in an interview. "I rarely do things for myself, to be honest with you. Twenty-three is definitely a number that I've always wanted. I wanted it last year, obviously didn't get it, but I've got it now, and I don't really plan to ever stop wearing that number. For me, it symbolizes greatness."