He had always wanted the ball, ever since he first started playing football at age 5.
Nunez started out as a running back, where he played until he was in the sixth grade. But once he hit a growth spurt prior to sixth grade, he wanted to try another position — the one that allows him to run and throw the ball.
Committed to South Carolina since May, Nunez — now 6-foot-3 and 190 pounds — is now the eighth-ranked dual-threat quarterback in the nation by 247Sports.
“It was something I wanted to play,” said Nunez, a member of the 2014 Marietta Daily Journal Dynamite Dozen team, on his switch to quarterback. “My dad asked me about it, and I was like, ‘I’ll try it out,’ since I like to have the ball in my hands.”
Nunez developed his craft over the next three years while playing in Harrison’s feeder program, mostly running the option. After his sophomore year, he attended offseason camps, where college coaches began to take notice.
Coaches were impressed with Nunez’s ability to release the ball quickly and make plays out of the pocket. Over time, the attention began to mount, with offers from 14 different Football Bowl Subdivision programs.
Ultimately, Nunez chose to play for a former Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback, Steve Spurrier, at South Carolina. One of the primary recruiters who pursued Nunez on Spurrier’s behalf was G.A. Mangus, the former Walton High School standout.
“I don’t have to think about college anymore, and I’m excited to be a Gamecock,” Nunez said. “There will be pressure (this season), but I will do what I have to do on the field to help my team win.”
Nunez knows he still has business to settle at Harrison. The Hoyas narrowly missed the Class AAAAAA state playoffs last season, finishing with a 5-5 record.
With the majority of Harrison’s team coming back, Nunez and his teammates will be looking for a way into the state playoffs while playing in a highly regarded Region 4AAAAAA that’s been led by either McEachern, North Cobb or Hillgrove over the last five seasons.
“I think we can contend with them this year,” Nunez said. “In the past few years, we were close, but we never pulled through and executed. But, this year, we can contend with them.”
The fact that Nunez doesn’t have to learn a new offense under a new coach should help his overall performance. In the second year of coach Matt Dickmann’s system, Nunez can play to his strengths as a dual-threat quarterback.
He’s also expecting to produce greater numbers. Nunez threw for 1,148 yards and five touchdowns last year, rushing for an extra 786 yards. A tally of seven interceptions thrown was a bit deceiving, with four coming in one game.