Gateway grad Nunley agrees to rookie deal with Chargers
All Dayonne Nunley wanted was a chance to prove himself with an NFL team.
That chance will come in the next few weeks and months with the San Diego Chargers.
Nunley, a 2009 Gateway graduate who is completing classes this week towards a degree from Miami (Ohio), is expected to report to the Chargers facility soon to begin a journey he hopes will lead him to a fruitful NFL career.
“They called my agent right after the draft and told me they wanted me to come out to rookie mini camp,” Nunley said.
“It's truly a blessing to get this chance to show what I can do. It will be challenging, but I am ready for it. This is what I dreamed about growing up as a kid. To be here now is unbelievable.”
Nunley took part in a pro day in March, and only two teams — Pittsburgh and Cincinnati — attended.
He admitted he didn't know how San Diego became interested in him, but, he said, he's glad they did.
“San Diego is a great opportunity for me to show my talent,” Nunley said.
“It is a great organization with great players. They made the playoffs and showed what they could do in Cincinnati. They really fly around on defense, and it looks like something I really want to be a part of.”
Nunley finished his collegiate career with the Redhawks a three-time first-team All-Mid-American Conference performer at defensive back.
As a senior in 2013, Nunley recorded 88 tackles, 123 pass breakups and one interception while starting all 12 games.
He had a season-best 11 tackles against both Akron and Kent State.
The 11-tackle performances also tied his career high.
For his career, he finished with 260 tackles, 22 tackles for a loss, 13 interceptions and two forced fumbles.
The 13 interceptions rank second all-time in Miami history.
Nunley is the first Gateway graduate to sign with an NFL team since Lydell Sargeant and Mortty Ivy inked undrafted rookie free-agent deals with the Buffalo Bills and Carolina Panthers, respectively, in 2009.
Ivy currently is a linebacker with the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the Canadian Football League, and he signed with the team in July of last year.
Gateway grad Justin King was drafted in the fifth round by the St. Louis Rams in 2008. He currently is a free agent.
Gateway graduates B.J. Stevens (Cal U), Delbert Tyler (Hampton), Dorian Bell (Duquesne) and Corey Brown (Ohio State) also went through pro days for NFL scouts this spring, but none from the quartet had officially signed a rookie free agent deal with a team as of Tuesday's deadline for this week's edition.
The door still is open for them in professional football, as opportunities such as tryouts will be available with teams in the upcoming weeks and months.