Nunnelly honored

By PATRICK MacCOON
Posted 9/12/18

Taking major pride in his craft, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga sophomore Bryce Nunnelly has turned in the greatest start to a season by any collegiate wide receiver in the nation.The former …

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Nunnelly honored

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Taking major pride in his craft, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga sophomore Bryce Nunnelly has turned in the greatest start to a season by any collegiate wide receiver in the nation.

The former Walker Valley High School product was an unstoppable force this past week again, with 10 catches for 268 yards to go with two touchdowns and the game-winning trick 2-point conversion pass in a memorable 29-28 overtime road victory over the Citadel.

Nunnelly was humbled after being named this week's STATS FCS National Offensive Player of the Week, while also taking home his second consecutive Southern Conference Offensive Player of the Week honors.

"I have to thank my teammates and coaches," Nunnelly said. "My teammates do a great job and Nick (Tiano) has made all the right reads and calls. I am just fortunate the coaching staff has enough faith in me to start and play for a great university."

Nunnelly leads the country with 429 receiving yards on 17 catches. His 25.2 yards per reception has shown explosiveness downfield and off screen passes as well.

While showing flashes of his potential down the stretch last season as a true freshman, the 6-foot-2, 185-pound playmaker felt things kicked into another gear for him over the offseason.

"I have worked extremely hard," Nunnelly added. "All offseason I really focused on the fine details of playing wide receiver. I grew a lot in spring ball. My coaches and teammates really helped me grow and trust in my game."

With UT Martin next on the schedule in a non-conference road contest for the Mocs, a great deal of attention could be cast on the breakout star.

While an astronomical start has made Nunnelly's ceiling sky-high for the rest of 2018 and beyond, the numbers so far through a 2-0 start for the winningest program in the state this decade are not what matters most.

"I just want to go out there and do what my team needs me to do, day in and day out," Nunnelly said. "Whether that means catching 10 passes in a game or not catching any, I just want to win. I will do whatever I can to help my team do that in any way."

With another chance to help lead UTC to victory and possibly a way in the Top 25 FCS rankings, Nunnelly has another plus matchup heading into Saturday's 4 p.m. contest against UT Martin (0-2).

Albeit against stellar programs in Missouri and Middle Tennessee State University, the Skyhawks have allowed 801 passing yards and nine touchdowns. 

Tiano will certainly look to his favorite target again against a defense allowing a 67 percent completion percentage and with zero interceptions.

"It really is an honor to receive the awards I have so far," Nunnelly said. "I have to keep working hard, and giving everything I've got for my team."

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