CONWAY, S.C. (WMBF) - Week one of fall camp for the Chanticleers is officially in the books. As the team approaches the upcoming season, a pair of guys have made major strides thus far as they aim to help the team do the same.
On the defensive side of the ball the Chants welcome back Jeffrey Gunter after he spent the 2019 season at NC State. Prior to leaving for Raleigh, Gunter terrorized opposing defenses as a sophomore, racking up 49 tackles and 5 sacks.
He was a first team All-Sun Belt selection and CCU’s defensive player of the year. The junior says he’s glad to be back in Conway with guys that he considers family.
“Man, it’s a dream come true. I left for a while and I just can’t tell you how happy I am to be back,” CCU defensive end Jeffrey Gunter admitted. “I’m back with my brothers and my boys and it’s going to be a great year. It was definitely tough but like I said the boys here have really helped me through it. Tarron and CJ called me almost every week to see how I was doing. I’m just thankful for the boys here and I can’t tell you how glad I am to be back.”
Offensively senior running back CJ Marable is a main catalyst in the team's spread option attack. As a junior, he etched his name in the CCU record books as he became just the fourth Chant to rush for over 1,000 yards in a single season.
Though he anticipates putting up big numbers once again, he’s fortunate to have young, talented backs around him to help carry the load. Marable and CCU head man Jamey Chadwell say his improved leadership is what they’re most proud of.
“Over the years I always thought I wasn’t a vocal leader,” said CCU running back CJ Marable. “So, I learned this off-season that I have that capability to be more of a vocal leader instead of being a leader that just shows by example. I’m able to talk more and be more vocal.”
“The great thing about CJ is he could care less about how many carries he gets or how many touches he gets,” Chadwell said of Marable. “He wants to win and help the young guys in our program get better in the way he works and the way he comes everyday. He’s got a professional mindset. We need him to have a big year if we’re going to have a chance to have a good year no doubt. He expects to have a big year but he’s already impacting our locker room in a positive way which is most important.”
Gunter and Marable are two guys among others to keep an eye on this season as the Chants aim to reach a bowl game for the first time in program history.