UTC MOCS sophomore wide receiver Bryce Nunnelly (19) put forth one of the best seasons as a pass catcher in program history in 2018. The Walker Valley High School product was named to the All-SoCon conference first team this week. (UTC ATHLETICS PHOTO)
With an official blue-check-mark Twitter follower in former NFL superstar and newly minted Pro Football Hall of Famer Terrell Owens, UT-Chattanooga wide receiver Bryce Nunnelly turned heads in a sophomore season to remember.
On his way to becoming one of the top wide receivers in the country for the Mocs, the 6-foot-2 speedster and superb route-runner let his hunger for success ignite the flame.
Considered to be one of the hardest workers on the team this past offseason, Nunnelly, who starred at Walker Valley High, rose through the ranks to take over as the unquestioned go-to man on the receiving end of the passing game.
A grinder on special teams too, his dedication to UTC has shone bright.
"The tradition is my favorite thing about being a Moc," Nunnelly said. "Chattanooga football has been very successful before, and I am very fortunate to be a part of it. I leave it all on the line for this program every time I hit the field. We are all fighting for each other."
Nunnelly was honored this week by being selected to the All-Southern Conference first-team offense by both the media and coaches after standing out for the Mocs, who finished 6-5 overall.
Between the FCS and FBS level he ranked 10th in the nation in yardage across Division I football as he finished with 1,237 receiving yards in 11 games (112.5 yards per game). He was just 47 yards shy of tying Joel Bradford's single season receiving yardage record at UTC.
Nunnelly's sure hands provided at least five catches (79 season) in every contest and his ability to break off defensive backs for big chunks led to six 100-yard games and just as many games with a gain of at least 50 yards. He scored seven times off passes from Nick Tiano.
Samford's Kelvin McKnight joined him on the first-team offense with 100 catches for 1,453 yards and nine scores.
This past Saturday the season came to a close for UTC, with Nunnelly hauling in five passes for 141 yards to go with a 2-yard touchdown pass in a 49-9 loss at South Carolina.
"That was a great experience," Nunnelly said. "The atmosphere and competition was as good as it gets. I am thankful I had the opportunity to go out and be a part of something really fun with teammates."
Nunnelly made plays wherever asked and helped his team into the national ranks after a 4-0 start.
He also threw for the game-winning 2-point conversion against The Citadel in what would be a nationally recognized performance in which he also caught 10 passes for 268 yards and two scores.
With the makeup of a 1,000-yard receiver for years to come, Nunnelly is excited about the future.
"There are quite a few things I can improve on this offseason in hopes of helping my team out in whatever they need me to," he said. "Coach Harbaugh (receivers coach) knows what he is doing, so I am just going to listen to him and work on what he tells me to do. It's a blessing to be here."
The former Bradley County talent has risen to elite ranks quickly, and hopes to be a part of championship Mocs teams to come.
Bryce Nunnelly finished with six 100-yard games in 11 contests this season. Nunnelly caught seven touchdowns, threw for another against South Carolina and had a game-ending two-point pass play in a career-day against The Citadel. (UTC ATHLETICS PHOTO)