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The Burly Back From Gurley

By Emory Hunt
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One of the catalysts for Troy's upset of LSU was senior running back Jordan Chunn.

The Troy Trojans face South Alabama this week and are fresh off of an upset victory 2 weeks ago against the LSU Tigers of the SEC. 

One of the catalysts for that upset was senior running back Jordan Chunn.

The Tigers had trouble stopping Chunn that day as he rumbled through Baton Rouge like a summer heat wave to the tune of 192 yards, averaging 6.4 yards per carry. It seems as if that game is when the nation became familiar with the Chunn’s talents, but those who have followed this Troy program and Sun Belt football, are all too familiar with what the 6’1”, 238 lb. tailback could do.

Chunn hails from Gurley, Alabama, which is small town in the northeast part of the state about 16 miles east of Huntsville, that has a population of less than 1,000 people. He starred at Madison County High School finishing with 2,229 yards and 43 touchdowns as a senior. Those gaudy stats earned him Offensive Player of the Year and Alabama State 4A Back of the Year. Recruiting website 247Sports rated him as the 72nd best player in Alabama as a result. So, when he signed with the Trojans on signing day, they knew they were getting someone special.

It didn’t take long for Gurley’s finest to hit the ground running as a freshman. Chunn led all freshmen running backs with 14 rushing touchdowns en route to being named Freshman All-American and Honorable Mention All-Sun Belt Conference.

Having split time as a freshman and sophomore, and also coming off of an injury that sidelined him for virtually the entire 2015 season, Chunn came into the 2016 season as the lead guy in the backfield and took full advantage of the opportunity.

That season, the Trojan back ran for nearly 1,300 yards and 16 rushing touchdowns, averaging a healthy 4.6 yards per carry. Despite that level of production, Chunn was still a relative unknown on the national scene. 

There was at least one person back in July that tried to give the country a head’s up:

But it fell on deaf ears.

In all seriousness, what makes Chunn special is that he’s a decisive runner with power, grace and the fluidity of the Tennessee River that flows through his nearby home of Gurley. Something moving that fast, at that size, is going to be tough to bring down.  Chunn also shows above-average ability as a receiver out of the backfield, so you can keep him on the field for all three.

He’s a threat in every sense of the word to opposing defenses.  Chunn has shown the ability to get stronger with each and every carry as the game goes on, as well.

After posting back-to-back 100-yard games, the Chunn Train is starting to gather steam and pick up momentum.

He’s already set the Trojans career rushing touchdown record (37, previous record was 34) and now has his sights set on bigger and better things like winning the Sun Belt Conference title and back-to-back bowl appearances and victories.

If the Burly Back from Gurley just does the things he’s done so far in his career, then those sights will become clearer, sharper and subsequently attainable as the season rolls along.

Emory Hunt - Emory Hunt, "The Czar of the Playbook", is a former UL Ragin' Cajun running back nw covering the Sun Belt for Southern Pigskin. His other work can be found at Twitter: @FBallGameplan