05/12/2014 - Even though he's coming off an ACL injury suffered in mid-October, the Saints used the first of their two fifth-round draft picks on Alabama strong safety Vinnie Sunseri. Payton said Sunseri, who'll likely be able to participate in upcoming organized team activities and minicamps after a speedy recovery, was impressive at his Pro Day workout after being held out of the combine. What was also evident, Payton said, is that Sunseri is the son of a long-time college coach -- Sal Sunseri. The elder Sunseri was an assistant at LSU and Alabama under Nick Saban and is currently on the Florida State staff. "When you watch the six games he played this year, he is making all the calls," Payton said. "He is very, very sharp. I would say he is very well-respected by that team, a great program." - The Sports Xchange
01/13/2014 - Report: Alabama S Vinnie Sunseri entering NFL Draft...In a surprising move, Alabama junior safety Vinnie Sunseri is reportedly declaring for the NFL Draft...Given where most of them can expect to go off the board, it's usually no surprise when one of Nick Saban's Alabama players declares for the draft a year early. But safety Vinnie Sunseri will reportedly be an expection. ESPN reported Sunday that the 6-foot, 210-pound junior would enter the draft despite missing much of the season with a torn ACL suffered in the Tide's Oct. 19 win over Arkansas. He becomes the fifth Tide player this offseason to leave with a season of eligiblity remaining, joining left tackle Cyrus Kouandjio, safety Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix, defensive end Jeoffrey Pagan and linebacker Adrian Hubbard -- though Sunseri's departure (which al.com called a "stunner") easily ranks as the most surprising of the five.
Sunseri finished his seven-game 2013 season with 20 tackles and two interceptions, both of which were returned for interceptions -- including a pivotal pick-six against Johnny Manziel and Texas A&M in the Tide's barnburning 49-42 victory. Sunseri is the son of former Alabama assistant and current Florida State defensive ends coach Sal Sunseri, and a graduate of Tuscaloosa's Northridge High School. Sal told al.com earlier in January that Vinnie's rehabilitation from his ACL injury was ahead of schedule and that he could have been medically cleared to play in the Tide's Sugar Bowl appearance. - Jerry Hinnen, CBSSports.com
01/12/2014 - More than four Alabama juniors are leaving the school early for the NFL Draft, and the latest name is a stunner. According to ESPN's Joe Schad, safety Vinnie Sunseri, who missed the second half of the 2013 season with a torn ACL, has opted to pass on his senior season with the Crimson Tide. Attempts to reach those close to Sunseri have not been successful. Two of Sunseri's siblings, older brother Tino and younger sister Ashlyn, re-Tweeted the news as it broke. Sunseri was one of Alabama's top defensive leaders this past season, as he returned interceptions for touchdowns in each of the Crimson Tide's first two games. After a sloppy win against Colorado State, he was one of three veterans to address the team and encourage them to "buy in." He finished with 20 tackles, one of which went for a loss, in seven games. His season came to an end during the first quarter of Alabama's rout against Arkansas, when he tore his ACL on kickoff coverage.
In an interview with AL.com earlier this month, Vinnie's father Sal, a former Alabama linebackers coach who is now at Florida State, said his son was months ahead of schedule in his recovery and could have potentially played in the Sugar Bowl. Sunseri is the fifth Alabama player to leave one year early for a shot at the NFL, joining left tackle Cyrus Kouandjio, safety HaHa Clinton-Dix, linebacker Adrian Hubbard and defensive end Jeoffrey Pagan. - Andrew Gribble, Alabama Live
12/11/2013 - 2013 ASSOCIATED PRESS ALL-SEC HONORABLE MENTION: Vinnie Sunseri, S, Alabama, 6-0, 210, Jr.,...Has been selected Honorable Mention All-SEC for the 2013 college football season by the Associated Press. - Alabama football
10/21/2013 - Alabama safety Vinnie Sunseri is out for the season with a knee injury. Coach Nick Saban said Monday that Sunseri will have surgery on his left knee Tuesday. He declined to give specifics of the injury except that he had ligament damage. "Vinnie's done a great job for us," Saban said. "He's an outstanding player and really good person, good leader. Can't say enough about the job he's done throughout this year and his career. Always hate it when guys get injuries. It's a tough part of the game. "But it's going to provide an opportunity for some other guys to step up and play well. We'll probably play with Landon Collins in that position."
Collins filled in at free safety during Ha Ha Clinton-Dix's two-game suspension that ended before the Arkansas game, but strong safety is his normal position. Jarrick Williams is expected to back him up. "Landon's been a very good player for us in whatever role that we've asked him to play," Saban said. "He's played money. He's played some free safety. He's played strong safety. Strong safety is his natural position." Alabama plays Tennessee on Saturday.
Sunseri is the only defensive back to start each of the first seven games for the top-ranked Crimson Tide. He was injured while covering a kickoff in the first quarter against Arkansas. Sunseri has 20 tackles and returned two interceptions for touchdowns. The junior has played in 34 games and started 15 in his career. - AP Sports
10/21/2013 - Alabama's Vinnie Sunseri out for the year...Alabama has lost a major part of its defense for the rest of the season. Safety Vinnie Sunseri will miss the rest of the 2013 season after suffering a torn knee ligament. Alabama coach Nick Saban confirmed the injury during his Monday news conference, saying Sunseri would undergo surgery on his left knee. Sunseri, a junior, left Saturday's game during the first quarter after suffering the injury on special teams.
Sunseri's loss is a big blow to an Alabama defense that has reestablished its dominance over the last month. In its five games since allowing 628 yards and 42 points against Texas A&M, the Alabama defense has allowed a total of 1,085 yards (217 per game) and 16 points. Sunseri, who was just named to CBSSports.com's Midseason All-American team, was a big part of that. On the season Sunseri has 20 tackles, four passes broken up and two interceptions. Sunseri has returned both of his interceptions for touchdowns. Landon Collins, a sophomore, will replace Sunseri in Alabama's starting lineup. Collins was a five-star prospect in Alabama's 2012 recruiting class, and was considered one of the top ten high school players in his class. - Tom Fornelli, CBSSports.com
10/19/2013 - No. 1 Alabama safety Vinnie Sunseri left Saturday night's 52-0 victory over Arkansas with a knee injury. Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban says Sunseri's left knee will be examined on Sunday ''but it could be serious.'' Sunseri limped off the field with trainers after getting hurt on kickoff coverage. The Tide starter came in as the sixth-leading tackler with 20 stops. He had a team-high two interceptions, returning them 38 and 73 yards for touchdowns in Alabama's first two games.
The Tide did get back free safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix from a two-game suspension. He was reinstated by the NCAA on Friday after reportedly accepting a short-term loan from an assistant strength and conditioning coach. Saban said cornerback Bradley Sylve is day to day with a high ankle sprain. - AP Sports
10/19/2013 - Alabama safety Vinnie Sunseri left Saturday night's game against Arkansas with an apparent leg injury. Sunseri limped off the field with trainers after getting hurt on kickoff coverage. He walked to the locker room shortly after that. Sunseri has started the first seven games and came in as the top-ranked Crimson Tide's sixth-leading tackler with 20 stops. He had a team-high two interceptions, returning them 38 and 73 yards for touchdowns in Alabama's first two games. The Tide did get back free safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix from a two-game suspension. He was reinstated by the NCAA on Friday after reportedly accepting a short-term loan from an assistant strength and conditioning coach. - AP Sports
09/16/2013 - SEPT 16 COLLEGE FOOTBALL PERFORMANCE AWARDS DEFENSIVE BACK PERFORMER OF THE WEEK: Vinnie Sunseri (Alabama)...For the second consecutive game, defensive back Vinnie Sunseri got in the end zone after picking off the opponent's quarterback. He is the first Tide player to score after intercepting the ball in back-to-back games since Antonio Langham did so in 1992 against Auburn (61-yard int.) and Florida (27-yard int.). Langham is the only Alabama player to record non-offensive touchdowns in three straight games, adding a blocked punt return for five yards against Mississippi State prior to the Auburn game.
Honorable Mention: Brandon Facyson (Virginia Tech), Nickoe Whitley (Mississippi State), D'Joun Smith (FAU), Dexter McDougle (Maryland), Kip Daily (Kansas State), Damante Horton (Washington State), Bennett Jackson (Notre Dame), Tyrell Pearson (South Alabama), Dashone Smith (UTEP), Steven Nelson (Oregon State), Jourdan Grandon (Arizona). - Alabama football/College Football Performance Awards
08/26/2013 - 2013 PRESEASON ALL-SEC THIRD TEAM (COACHES): DB - Vinnie Sunseri, Alabama,...Local product who played in all 14 games and earned eight starts in 2012 ... Crimson Tide's starting "dime" defensive back, during six-defensive back formations ... fourth on the team with 54 tackles ... 35 solo stops and six tackles for a loss (21 yards) ... had 1.5 sacks (11 yards) with two fumble recoveries (seven yards), three pass breakups, two interceptions (13 yards) and two quarterback hurries ... had 10 special teams tackles include seven on kickoff coverage and three on punts. - Alabama football
07/25/2013 - 2013 PRESEASON ALL-SEC SECOND TEAM (MEDIA): DB - Vinnie Sunseri, Alabama (36)...Sunseri seen action in 27 games in his first two years at the Capstone, making eight starts ... one of seven returning starters on defense in 2013 ... has 85 career tackles, with two interceptions, five pass breakups, a forced fumble and three fumble recoveries. - Alabama football