Wyatt Tunall had a "ton" of college football scholarship offers, but he announced on July 3 that he'll play for the Appalachian State Mountaineers.
The 6-foot-6, 268-pound offensive tackle combines desirable physical attributes with sparkly academics. That led to a slew of college options, including Central Florida and a majority of schools from the Sun Belt Conference, including Appalachian State.
"Boone, it's great. The people up there are great. The coaches and staff are second to none," said Tunall, who also enjoys the outdoors and is excited to live in the North Carolina mountains.
Tunall is family friends with York's Beau Nunn, who just graduated from Appalachian State after a highly successful four-year career at Appalachian and is now trying to make the Detroit Lions' roster this fall. Tunall met with Nunn when he visited Appalachian this past fall, and after watching a Mountaineers game, ate dinner with former Chester teammate Malik Williams, who will be a sophomore wide receiver this coming season. Another Chester Cyclone, Troy Sanders, was a Division I-AA All-American for the Mountaineers, completing his career in 2012.
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Chester coach Victor Floyd said that Tunall, who already looks like a college football player, has worked extremely hard this offseason to improve his size and strength.
"He understands what's in front of him," said Floyd.
Tunall was one of The Herald's two 2017 Hawgs of the Year, and is also a stellar student. His grade point average topped 4.0 and he scored a 23 on the ACT. Tunall plans to graduate high school this coming December so that he can enroll at Appalachian State next spring.
"I'm ready to go," he said, "ready to prove some things."
Tunall's upside is what intrigued Appalachian State coaches, according to Floyd. Chester's coach said that Tunall was eager to commit this summer and that he didn't intend on waiting for bigger schools to make a move.
"What's happening with these Power 5 schools, they want the lineman already ready-made," said Floyd. "Offensive line is one of those positions where you might find one already ready to go. But you're gonna have to develop those other four guys, and I think a lot of these Power 5 schools forget that. That's why you see guys like Beau Nunn, who end up going to App, instead of South Carolina."
Tunall wasn't the only local to commit to a Sun Belt Conference school in the last week.
Indian Land rising senior Dorian Williams announced June 28 that he'll play college football at Coastal Carolina. Williams is a three-year starter for the Warriors at safety, though there is a strong chance that he'll continue to beef up and move to linebacker. The All-Region 4-3A pick made 62 tackles, including 13 for a loss, broke up five passes and intercepted two more in 2017.
"To my family," he tweeted, "The sacrifices that you made to get me to this point in life will never be overlooked."