Tragic Injury Helps Ex-Running Back Become a Prince of a Person
COLUMBIA - With 4.3 speed, Munir Prince was the one of the top recruits in Missouri in 2005, but
he picked Notre Dame over Missouri, where he got a shot at running back saying.
"I felt comfortable with the ball in my hands, I felt comfortable, you know, making the moves and I felt I had the speed and everything to be an asset," Prince said.
Soon after the move to the Fighting Irish Prince moved to cornerback.
"I moved to corner and actually found out that was my more natural position."
Prince says he never felt at home in South Bend, so he transferred to Mizzou with hopes to make difference on the field for the Tigers. Going into his senior year, he was looking for a breakout season, but then everything changed. It was on the field at a scrimmage in August of 2010 that Munir played football for the last time.
Prince was on the special teams squad when it happened saying.
"My job on the punt team was to make sure that no one got outside of me, you know, I had the outside leverage," said Prince, "so when I saw the returner get outside of me, you know, I maintained my outside leverage and I turned around and I got blindsided. I guess the way i fell, i guess my spine did something to where it paralyzed me at that point."
Prince remembers most of it well.
"At first I could hear all the coaches telling me to get up, and I felt that I was getting up. I'm like oh ok coach I'm getting up, but when I realized I couldn't move my feet or like my hands or anything, I was like 'I cant move,' and that's when I just fainted. And then when i woke up I was in the hospital," Prince said.
Just as anyone would, Prince hit an emotional wall.
Dominique Hamilton said, "I broke down a little bit. I was like wow, because the way it looked, it was just kinda shocking."
Prince says he's never heard a good explanation for what happened.
"They looked at all the scans and all the x-rays and everything," said Prince, "and they couldn't really find anything besides a sac of fluid that was next to my spine."
Prince spent two days paralyzed and he had to relearn how to walk. His mind wasn't on his spine, it was on playing.
"In my mind the whole time, I was getting ready for the season, as I was trying to relearn how to walk, relearn how to run, as I was trying to get my strength back."
Team doctors and trainers had to convince Prince it wasn't safe to return to the field.
Prince is now an assistant at Mizzou. His title is offensive quality control coach whose job is to help quarterbacks with the game plan. His goal is to be a prince of a person.
"More than just a coach, but being more of a successful person, and when I say successful, I don't mean in terms of monetary value, it means in terms of like, just being a good family man."