One of the players who transferred from the Arkansas Razorbacks football team has himself a new college home.
Via a tweet posted to his Twitter machine, Grayson Gunter revealed that he will be transferring to Southern Miss and continuing his collegiate playing career with the Golden Eagles. It was confirmed in late December that the tight end would be transferring from the Arkansas Razorbacks football program.
The move serves as a homecoming of sorts as Gunter played his high school football in Madison, Mississippi.
As Gunter left UA as a graduate transfer, he can play immediately in 2020. Next season will serve as his final year of eligibility.
Gunter was a three-star 2016 signee, rated as the No. 56 tight end in the country and the No. 31 player at any position in the state of Mississippi. He played in all 13 games as a true freshman before taking a redshirt in 2017. The past two seasons, Gunter played in 23 games. He started eight of those contests — six this season, two in 2018.
Gunter will finished the Razorbacks portion of his playing career with 135 yards and two touchdowns on 11 receptions. His best season was the most recent one as he caught six passes for 55 yards and a score in 2019.
The calendar reads 2020 and now Conference USA is ready to start filling in dates this fall for the upcoming football campaign.
In a release issued on Wednesday, the league announced dates and opponents for their 2020 football schedule. You can find team-by-team schedules here or the overall composite week-by-week schedule here.
CUSA will once again play eight conference games and will essentially see the league slate from last season flip venues from home to road. The divisional alignment is set to remain the same, with 14 teams split evenly across an East and West Division.
There will be plenty of new faces for the upcoming campaign in the conference, including at reigning champion Florida Atlantic after Lane Kiffin’s departure to Ole Miss and the hiring of former Florida State head coach Willie Taggart. Jeff Traylor also takes over at UTSA and Ricky Rahne will be the new head coach at Old Dominion.
The Conference USA title game is also scheduled for Saturday, December 5 and will mark the quite the anniversary as the league begins its 25th season of play on the gridiron.
Of all the draft decisions, the one made by Southern Miss wide receiver Quez Watkins would probably qualify as one of the more head-scratching.
On Twitter, Watkins announced Saturday evening that he has decided to enter the 2020 NFL Draft. As our pals over at Rotoworld noted, Watkins is believed to be a Day 3 prospect. And that might even be generous, at least at the moment.
”As an athlete, I have spent the majority of my life training hard for this very moment,” Watkins wrote. “I love the game of football, played hard and gained the respect of my fellow teammates.”
In late January, it was reported that Watkins had been forced to withdraw from Southern Miss and enroll at a junior college in an effort to get his academic house in order. In late June, it was confirmed that Watkins was back on the USM campus and enrolled in classes.
The news regarding the wide receiver was even more positive a month later as head coach Jay Hopson confirmed that Watkins was expected to join the rest of his teammates for the start of summer camp. While that indeed happened, the pause button was hit on the feel-good storyline as Watkins was suspended for the first two games of the 2019 season.
After returning from suspension, the 6-2, 190-pound Watkins caught 64 passes for 1,178 yards and six touchdowns. He was tops on the team in both yards and touchdowns.
As a redshirt sophomore the season before, Watkins led the Golden Eagles in receptions (72), receiving yards (889) and receiving touchdowns (nine). Watkins’ nine scores accounted for nearly half of the team’s 19 touchdowns through the air that season.
Your trusty and semi-daily college football bowl preview that today takes a quick-hit look at the Jan. 4 bowl menu, one that features just a single AAC-Conference USA matchup.
WHO: Southern Miss (7-5) vs. Tulane (6-6)
WHAT: The 17th Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl
WHERE: Amon G. Carter Stadium, Fort Worth, Texas
WHEN: 11:30 a.m. ET on ESPN
THE SKINNY: In this college football bowl preview, we’ll start off by noting that four of the last nine Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowls have been decided by three points or less, and five of them have been decided by seven or fewer. Of course, Army helped trigger the firing of Major Applewhite last year by woodshedding Houston 70-14. … A win for Tulane would give Willie Fritz 14 the past two seasons. That would be the program’s best two-year stretch since winning 15 in 1998-99. The Green Wave could also claim bowl wins in back-to-back seasons for the first time ever. … Southern Miss’ last bowl win came in the 2016 New Orleans Bowl. … Neither team enters this game in Fort Worth on a roll. The Green Wave has lost three in a row, while the Eagles have lost two in a row. Southern Miss and Tulane are former Conference USA foes, having met 13 times in league play from 1996-2010. All told, they have met 30 times, including every year from 1979-2006. Southern Miss holds a decisive 23-7 edge all-time, including six wins in a row and nine of the last 10. … As we previously noted, the two schools’ rivalry trophy, replete with a fresh coat of paint, will be at stake in this game. … With the exception of one (47-42 win over Troy), every game Southern Miss won and every game they lost this season came by 14 or more points. … Storyline of the Day: Tulane’s rush offense vs. Southern Miss’ run defense. The Eagles give up 111.8 yards per game, best in Conference USA and 14th nationally. The Green Wave averages 249.8 yards per game on the ground, tops in the AAC and 11th in the country. They have six players who have rushed for more than 200 yards this season, and a seventh is at 192. … Southern Miss’ offense is triggered by quarterback Jack Abraham, whose 3,329 yards passing are second in the conference.
THE LINE: Southern Miss, +7
THE PREDICTION: Tulane 30, Southern Miss 20
It’s not often you get a good rivalry matchup in a college bowl game. And while Southern Mississippi and Tulane may not fly on most people’s radars, the two schools certainly have their history. When they square off in this year’s Armed Forces Bowl, they will bring their rivalry trophy to the table.
Southern Miss Senior Associate Athletics Director Jeremy Smith shared an image on Twitter with a look at the trophy bell sporting a fresh coat of paint and both team’s logos. The tweet also confirmed the rivalry trophy will officially be on the line for the game, adding a little extra fuel to the bowl season.
Southern Miss and Tulane have faced each other 30 times in series history, with the Golden Eagles leading 23-7. As has been the case with a number of college football rivalries, realignment and conference expansions have interrupted this particular rivalry. The two teams used to play annually, but that was broken up when each team was placed in a different division in Conference USA. Tulane is now a member of the American Athletic Conference, leaving the series to be scheduled as a non-conference matchup whenever possible.
Southern Miss and Tulane are scheduled for a four-game series beginning in 2022. The Armed Forces Bowl on Saturday, Jan. 4 will be the first meeting between the two since 2009. Southern Miss has won the last six meetings in the series from 2003 through 2009.