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21 DAYS TO 2021 KICKOFF: Eric Munoz

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In which BracketCat counts down the 21st day until the 2021 kickoff with a profile of Kansas State linebacker Eric Munoz.

#30 Eric Munoz
Former Utah State linebacker Eric Munoz (30) has transferred to K-State in search of a new start. A linebacking corps bereft of career starters might be just what his doctor ordered...
Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images

NOTE: Kansas State has elected to advance players’ classification even though the 2020 season did not affect eligibility. Those who wish to take advantage of this extra year will be listed as a (“super”) senior again after their original eligibility would have been exhausted.

#21 Eric Munoz

Redshirt Super Senior | 6-0 | 229 lbs. | Belvidere, Illinois
Eric Munoz
Eric Munoz
Courtesy Kansas State Athletics
  • Position: Linebacker
  • Previous Colleges: Upper Iowa University; Mesa College; Utah State University
  • Projection: Third-String
  • Status: On Scholarship

Eric Munoz (b. Feb. 6, 1998) was a walk-on from Mesa College in San Diego who earned a scholarship with Utah State after his first career start in 2019. He played in 14 games over three seasons for the Aggies, including the 2019 campaign, when he made four starts.

Munoz, who transferred to K-State last winter to exercise his final bonus season of COVID eligibility, prepped at Belvidere High School in Illinois under head coach Chuck Leonard.

He earned Northern Illinois all-conference honors as a senior and also played basketball.

Munoz played his freshman season for the Upper Iowa Peacocks in 2016. He totaled 32 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, a sack and an interception on the season, and had a banner day against Concordia-St. Paul when he totaled 12 tackles, 1.5 TFLs, a sack and an interception.

Munoz earned Northern Sun Conference Defensive Player of the Week honors following his performance against the Golden Bears, and also had six tackles against Winona State and Augustana. But the first of many career transfers followed his successful freshman season.

Munoz played the 2017 season for the Mesa College Olympians and earned California Community College Athletics Association all-conference honors in the Southern California Football Association.

He tallied 69 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks, plus an interception, one fumble recovery, a blocked kick and a pass breakup, and also had a season-high 11 tackles against Desert JC and added 10 stops — including 2.5 TFLs and a sack — against Antelope Valley.

Munoz helped to lead Mesa to the Southern California Bowl Championship, then transferred for the second time, this time to Utah State in the Mountain West Conference.

He saw time in four games in 2018 as he preserved his redshirt; came away with five tackles and half a tackle for loss against Tennessee Tech, while he had one stop against San Jose State; and also played at Colorado State and against North Texas in the New Mexico Bowl.

Munoz then saw action in four games in 2019, with starts in each of the final four games.

He was named the Mountain West Defensive Player of the Week following his first career start against Wyoming, a game in which he tallied a career-high 13 tackles, half a tackle for loss, two interceptions and a pass breakup.

Munoz returned one of his interceptions against the Cowboys 56 yards to set up a field goal, while the other was in the final minute to seal a five-point victory.

He came back with seven tackles and half a tackle for loss the next week against No. 20 Boise State, and another nine tackles in the regular-season finale at New Mexico.

Munoz, who tallied four tackles and a tackle for loss in the Frisco Bowl against Kent State, also earned Academic All-Mountain West accolades.

During the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, he saw time in only one of the Aggies’ six games, starting against New Mexico and tallying four tackles against the Lobos.

You can read more about Munoz’s lengthy journey in this wonderful piece by Ryan Wallace.