MegaChunn: Chunn climbing up the ranks at running back

Published 3:00 am Thursday, September 22, 2016

Photo/thomas graning Troy running back Jordan Chunn is eigth in the country in yards rushing heading into Saturday’s conference opener against New Mexico State.

Photo/thomas graning
Troy running back Jordan Chunn is eigth in the country in yards rushing heading into Saturday’s conference opener against New Mexico State.

When the Troy Trojans return home on Saturday for the first time since week one, fans will have the privilege of watching the nation’s eighth leading rusher in Jordan Chunn.

Known as MegaChunn, he enters the game with 381 yards rushing, third most in school history for this point in the season.

“He’s playing really well right now,” said Troy offensive coordinator Kenny Edenfield. “Of course, we talked all during fall camp. We told you he had a really good fall camp. He’s always been a guy who gets stronger the more carries you give him and the longer the game goes on.”

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Last week against Southern Miss, Chunn posted 176 yards on 36 carries that included a 39-yard touchdown midway through the third quarter to put Troy up by 10.

“That play was hitting all night and our O-line was blocking it up pretty good,” Chunn said. “Southern Miss does a bunch of slanting and everything. We blocked it up pretty good, so it was expected to hit sometime.”

Chunn missed all but one game last year due to injuries. He is now the Trojans’ go-to ball carrier. Last week in wet and stormy conditions, head coach Neal Brown looked Chunn’s way 36 times.

“He stepped up,” Brown said. “He has carried us, and he really carried us last week. I don’t necessarily want to give him 36 carries again, but I thought he got better as it went. I would like that number to be around 25. I think that is more healthy number.”

With the heavy rain pelting the Hattiesburg area for much of the day, it was no surprise to Chunn that he touched the ball as much as he did.

“That’s what me and Josh Anderson were thinking about,” Chunn said. “‘I guess, since it’s raining, we’re not going to throw it a lot, unless it slacks up.’ Sure enough, we started running the ball a lot.”

Now, Chunn is ready to go in Troy’s first conference game of the season.

“I just needed to get in the pool, get an ice bath, and I’ll be good,” Chunn said. “I’ll be back.”

Since his freshman season in 2013, Chunn has transformed his body.

“I think, as a freshman, he was like anybody else,” Edenfield said. “He gained some weight as a true freshman, I’m sure. Over time, he’s grown up. He’s two years older. He’s been in the weight room, and he worked hard.”

“I was pretty pudgy,” Chunn said. “It’s just a transition you have to go through … I did change what I was eating. I told you about Zaxby’s. I used to eat there all the time, but I don’t eat there that much anymore. I’m doing a lot more in the weight room. I still eat Zaxby’s here and there, but not as much. You can have a cheat day in there, every once in a while.”

When Brown came in as a first year head coach in the spring of 2015, he immediately saw the potential in the redshirt junior.

He is a guy that I always looked at that had huge upside,” Brown said. “He is big, powerful and a naturally strong guy. His balance is what sets him apart from other big running backs. He has tremendous balance and he has good burst for a guy that has that height and that weight.”

Kickoff for Troy vs. New Mexico State is 6 p.m. Saturday.