If you were hoping the Arizona Wildcats could convince Grant Gunnell to stay in Tucson, that possibility was dashed Thursday when the sophomore quarterback announced his decision to transfer to Memphis.
Gunnell entered the transfer portal shortly after Arizona fired Kevin Sumlin, though it seems he would have done that no matter what the Wildcats decided to do with their head coaching position.
“In high school, my coach gave me a lot of freedom, and he allowed me to make decisions at the line of scrimmage and make checks,” Gunnell told 247Sports. “I’m ready to get back to that, and I’m ready to get back to pushing the ball down the field. I think Memphis’ offense is going to fit me better than Arizona’s did.”
Gunnell, the Texas high school all-time leader in passing yards and touchdowns, appeared in 12 career games at the UA, completing 66.5 percent of his passes for 1,864 yards, 15 touchdowns and three interceptions.
The Houston native split time with Khalil Tate as a true freshman in 2019 before becoming the full-time starter in 2020. A shoulder injury suffered at UCLA in third week of the season caused him to miss Arizona’s loss to Colorado.
A former four-star recruit, Gunnell picked Arizona over offers from big-time schools like Alabama, Florida State, Georgia and Ohio State. He was once committed to Sumlin at Texas A&M, too.
The Wildcats also lost senior QB Rhett Rodriguez to the transfer portal, leaving Will Plummer and Kevin Doyle Jr. as the two scholarship quarterbacks remaining for new head coach Jedd Fisch. Arizona has a commitment from three-star QB prospect Clay Millen, but he did not sign his National Letter of Intent during the Early Signing Period.