When did the NFL become a distinct possibility for York’s Beau Nunn?
Beau Nunn has put in the work and now it's time to wait.
As the former York Cougar contemplates his potential future in the NFL at his family's farm in McConnells, he also considers how far he's come. Nunn showed up at Appalachian State as a 250-pound freshman, miniscule for a college football offensive lineman. But he graduated in December as a 304-pound blocking mammoth, a four-year starter and cornerstone of one of the best offensive lines in college football last season.
And a potential pro football player.
"I didn't know it was gonna take me this far," Nunn said this week. "I just didn't know it was possible at the time."
The majority of Nunn's pre-draft work -- aside from staying in shape -- is largely done after Appalachian State held its pro day for NFL scouts on March 28.
Nunn worked out with teammate and fellow lineman Colby Gossett, who could be drafted in the first five rounds. In addition to the 20-something NFL scouts in attendance, the New York Giants and Arizona Cardinals sent offensive line coaches, good signs for Gossett, who was at the NFL Draft Combine in February, and Nunn.
"It was a really good opportunity to get out there and show them what I can do," he said.
Nunn ran a 5.0 40-yard dash, impressive for a 304-pound man, and also pushed up 225 pounds on the bench press 28 times.
"He did what we all thought he could do on pro day, he had an exceptional day," said Appalachian State offensive line coach Shawn Clark. "He had a chance to show his athleticism and what kind of player he is."
Nunn said it was a relief to perform well after several months of focusing on the pro day.
"We knew he was going to test well but he really helped himself," said Justin Ross, Nunn's agent. "His film, his week with the NFL Collegiate Bowl and then you throw in the pro day performance and it's been a good pre-draft process for Beau so far."
After competing in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl in Los Angeles back in January, Nunn moved to Georgia for a couple months to train for the draft. He put in close to 300 hours of pro day preparation work at Chip Smith Performance, in Norcross, Ga., working out five days a week for eight straight weeks with a group of around 50 draft prospects, including 20 offensive linemen. Seven-year NFL veteran Jon Stinchcomb coached the offensive line group.
"He has so much knowledge about the game and the offensive line position," Nunn said. "That was cool that Chip invited him to come in and work with the offensive linemen during our time there."
Down in Georgia, Nunn existed in a competitive cocoon focused solely on his mission: making an NFL roster. It gave him the chance to see how he matched up with a diverse collection of linemen from across the country.
Nunn was confident about his place in the group, and for good reason. According to ProFootballFocus.com, Nunn allowed just three quarterback pressures as a senior right tackle. He was part of a stout Appalachian State offensive line that surrendered just eight sacks in 2017, second best in the country.
Nunn finished his college career with a dominant performance during the Mountaineers' 34-0 win over Toledo in the Dollar General Bowl. The McConnells native notched 13 knockdown blocks and graded out 92 percent for the game.
Clark thinks Nunn's personality, character and work ethic set him up well for the fight ahead to carve out an NFL future. Clark also thinks Nunn's positional versatility -- he can play all five spots on the offensive line -- would make him a valuable asset for an NFL team.
The Herald identified 127 NFL offensive lineman that played -- or could have played -- offensive guard last season. Forty-three were undrafted players.
It doesn't seem likely that Nunn will get drafted in late April, but he's hearing that he'll be a priority undrafted free agent in the hours after the draft concludes. He and his agent will be able to pick a destination that fits best for Nunn, whether because of roster needs or the team's interest in him. Ross said that the Giants and Cardinals are interested in Nunn and that his client spoke with half of the league's teams while he was in L.A. for the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl.
"It just takes one team to like you. It doesn't matter if you're a draft pick, a priority free agent or a tryout guy," said Clark.
Nunn will take it easy at the family farm in McConnells for the next month, partly in case an NFL team wants to work him out individually at Appalachian State. He'll feed the goats and cows and some of the other farm animals, hang out with his twin brother Hunter and younger brother and sister, and try to keep his mind from obsessing on a possibility that wasn't even on his radar five years ago.
"Lot of waiting now," he said.