Sometimes timing is everything, and for Grant Gunnell and Sam Houston State, timing may, in fact, be everything and then some for the Bearkats.
Grant Gunnell Transfers to Sam Houston State
Gunnell, arguably one of the greatest high school quarterbacks of all time, has had a long, arduous journey in college. He lit up the Texas High School Football fields in each of his three full-time seasons as the starter at St. Pius X.
There, he recorded over 16,000 passing yards and 195 passing touchdowns in his illustrious career that rivals the other quarterbacking greats from the state of Texas. With upwards of 40 scholarship offers to his credit, Gunnell chose Arizona as his college destination.
And in 2019, he flashed brilliance of what could become despite the highly-talented Khalil Tate in the same quarterback room as Gunnell. He threw for nine touchdowns against just one interception and was terrific with his ball placement, accuracy, and power, much like we all thought he would be.
But then, things changed at Arizona, and Gunnell hit the transfer portal following a sluggish 2020 season for him and the Wildcats.
After a brief stint at Memphis, Gunnell transferred back to the state of Texas and the North Texas Mean Green. There, Gunnell earned spot duties to start the season but was subject to Austin Aune’s placement above him on the depth chart as the 29-year-old quarterback wasn’t budging from his No. 1 spot.
Gunnell entered the transfer portal as the spring transfer portal window was closing and quickly found his destination. And that destination – just an hour up the road from where he torched defenses at St. Pius X – is Huntsville.
Back in familiar territory, it could be argued that Gunnell fell into the best situation for him and his future prospects. The Bearkats are playing their first season of FBS football this fall and have their work cut out for them in the new-look Conference USA.
Gunnell’s place as QB1 in the Bearkats’ lineup isn’t guaranteed, but it could certainly be assumed. He has the talent and experience to lead a group of players in Huntsville as they adjust to FBS football.
Just earlier this offseason, College Football Network ranked the C-USA quarterback situations. Sam Houston’s duo of Keegan Shoemaker and Jordan Yates fell all the way to the bottom at No. 9 among the current signal-callers. Gunnell certainly gives them a boost there.
At his best, Gunnell is arguably one of the top quarterbacks in college football. Sure, we haven’t seen that best form from Gunnell since the 2019 season, but the fact remains that it is still there.
The question on every Bearkat fan’s mind is if Gunnell can harness that fabulous form we witnessed those years ago.
Re-watching that breakout year at Arizona, the odds are in his favor.
Gunnell Quick Facts
Hometown: The Woodlands, Texas
Career attempts: 257
Career completions: 169
Career completion %: 65.7%
Career passing yards: 1,939
Career touchdowns: 15
Career interceptions: 4