Memphis quarterback Grant Gunnell to co-host web series under NIL deal

MemphisThe quarterback battle has been discussed since the spring, but the quarterbacks have yet to talk about it – until Friday.

Junior Grant Gunnell gave his first public interview to “The Chris Vernon Show” as part of a name, image and likeness partnership with Grind City Media to announce a new web-only series that he co-hosts with the main incumbent Preston Brady.

The series, which still has no title, will be featured on YouTube every week. Brady said on Friday that cornerback Jacobi Francis and defensive back Rodney Owens will be among the first guests so fans can get to know the football team better.

Gunnell, who transferred from Arizona in July, said he chose Memphis because he was an offensive fan and former offensive coordinator Darrell Dickey recruited him from high school.

“I knew (quarterback) Brady White and the offense and the numbers he was showing,” Gunnell said.

Through this recruiting, Gunnell also met coach Ryan Silverfield, who was the offensive line coach at the time.

He added that he was happy to be here, especially in an area with family ties. His father Chris was born in Southaven, Mississippi, and he said his grandfather owned a liquor store near Sun Studios.

Memphis has not made any of their quarterbacks available to the media since spring training due to ongoing competition. Gunnell reiterated that a decision had yet to be made and that he was still competing with sophomore Peter Parrish and freshmen Keilon Brown and Seth Henigan for the starting position.

“The Memphis grind is real, we’re working here.” Gunnell said. “If you’re not going to work, you’re going to last here at all.”

He added that the Tigers’ playbook is more complicated than the one he had in Arizona. But he finds time to relax and play basketball since he played in college in first year and second year in high school.

Memphis Tigers quarterback Grant Gunnell stretches as the team hosts soccer practice at their indoor facility at the Billy J. Murphy Football Complex on Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Brady joked that Gunnell was ready to challenge Grizzlies star Ja Morant to a game of HORSE, but Gunnell said he wasn’t ready for that just yet. Instead, he’ll stick to the challenge of trying to take over from the Whites and not worry about the pressure that comes with it.

“There is a certain level of pressure, but that comes from playing a quarterback in any position. When you play this sport, the pressure is really a privilege,” Gunnell said. “If you don’t want pressure, you don’t want to be a starter.”

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You can reach Evan Barnes on Twitter (@Evan_B) or by email at evan.barnes@commercialappeal.com



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