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2021 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Bryce Nunnelly, WR, Tennessee-Chattanooga

Bryce Nunnelly
Bryce Nunnelly is an outstanding playmaker for Chattanooga who was also named an Academic All-American in 2019. He recently told his story to Draft Diamonds writer Jimmy Williams.
  • Name: Bryce Nunnelly
  • Height: 6’1”
  • Weight: 190 lbs
  • Position: WR
  • College: Tennessee Chattanooga
  • Twitter: @BNunnelly

Tell us about your university/college. Did you participate in any other activities or campus organizations other than football?
I go to the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. The university has approximately 11,000 students and is located in downtown Chattanooga. 

An activity that I was fortunate enough to participate in was because of one of my engineering design classes my sophomore year. My group was assigned to a program called “Rainbow Riders” located in Cleveland, TN. The program assists individuals who face challenges that include: physical, emotional, educational, and cognitive disabilities. My team got to meet the workers there and some of the individuals who were enrolled in the program . We designed and built a game for the riders to use as part of their therapy. 

How did you end up at Chattanooga?
They were only one of three schools to offer me going into my senior year of high school. They were coming off of winning their third straight Southern Conference championship. The major that I wanted to pursue was also offered there. I felt that it was the right fit for me. 

What do your teammates say is your best quality?
That I am a hard worker and I lead by example. I am not the loudest guy on or off the field, but I do believe that I am one of the hardest workers on the team. I try to show the team how much I care about them by working as hard as I can. 

What kind of role do you see yourself in on the team? What scheme and/or position suits your skill set?
I believe that I play an important leadership role for my team. I am a senior who has a lot of game experience. I try to use what I have learned over the course of my college career to help younger guys who are coming up after me. The scheme that I believe fits me best is a pro-style offensive scheme. Statistically, I had my best year so far when I played in that scheme. The coaches really tried to find different ways to get me the ball, whether it was from the slot or outside receiver position. 

Who is the best player you have ever played against in college?
D’Angelo Amos from James Madison University. He plays safety and is a 2x All-American. 

Which one of your teammates impresses you the most?
TE Chris James. He has really worked hard making the move from QB to TE in the last year. He has focused on a lot of small details, and it has paid off. He works so hard and would do anything for this team. 

Describe a time in your life when you were able to overcome a struggle.
During the end of my sophomore year, I injured my right AC joint. This was the first time that I had an injury that bothered me for a while. I rehabbed that off-season to get ready for spring ball, only to pull my hamstring the second day of spring practice. I was once again in the training room every day rehabbing both my shoulder and my hamstring the rest of spring and all of summer. Being away from football and not being able to do everything else that the team is doing can take a toll on you mentally. Fortunately, I was able to start the season and play that whole next year. 

What is something that you are most proud of? What would you say is your biggest achievement?
Being named an Academic All-American my junior year. A lot of hard work and sacrifice goes into doing the best that I can for my major, as well as being a football player. To see that hard work pay off and to be recognized, it meant a lot to me. 

Describe one of the most memorable plays of your collegiate career.
My sophomore year we were playing The Citadel on the road. We were in overtime and had just scored to be down by one point. Instead of kicking the extra point, we decided to go for two and try to win the game. I got the ball tossed to me from my QB on a reverse and threw the game winning pass to the tight end at the front corner of the endzone. 

If you didn’t play football, what other sport would you play?
I loved both basketball and track in high school, but I would probably have to go with running track. I competed in the decathlon all four years while in high school. It was a lot of fun and it really tested my overall athleticism and competitiveness. Some of my personal track & field bests include 22.79 in the 200m, 50.80 in the 400m and 6’0″ in the high jump.

What was your major/minor? Other than football, what would be your dream job?
My major is Mechanical Engineering. My dream job would be to work on a project that worked on sustainability of individual machines and of power plants as a whole. It would be nice to get into working on providing cleaner energy and cutting down on waste energy by increasing the efficiency of these machines and power plants.

What have you been working on in the off-season?
I have been focusing on my route running and catching a lot. I have had more time to work on my foot work, top of routes, and breaking points a lot more during this off-season. Since I haven’t always had access to a weight room since the University closed, I have had a chance to work on body weight exercises and simple ball drills for my hand eye coordination. These are things that I have not had a lot of time to work on in the past, but I believe they will benefit me in the future. 

Do you have a favorite athlete or professional team? Is there a player that you model your game after?
I do not have a favorite professional team. I like watching NFL games in general. I really enjoy watching Adam Thielen from the Vikings and Cooper Kupp from the Rams. They are both small school guys who are stars now in the NFL. I try to study some of the techniques that they use in their route running so that I can apply it to my own game.  

Check out NFL Draft Diamonds 2021 Small School Rankings

What do you do in your spare time? Do you have any hobbies? Do you have any secret talents?
I enjoy being outdoors whether it is hiking, camping, rafting, etc. I always enjoy my time when I am outside. 

Why do you play football?
The team aspect of the game is the most important trait for me. It is the ultimate team sport. Every person plays an important role in order for the team to be successful. Outside of the game, I have built lifelong friendships through playing the sport. There is something special about going through all of the training and workouts together. Also, knowing that the success of the team can solely depend on me, on any given play, motivates me to give the best effort possible.

Who or what motivates you the most?
My teammates motivate me the most. Without them, the awards and recognition I have received would not be possible. I work and prepare the way that I do so that I can help the team win in whatever way that I can. This game is way bigger than myself.

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