Texas is home to many big-time great football players: Drew Brees, Adrian Peterson, Mean Joe Green, Eric Dickerson and Von Miller. The Talor Nunez story is a remarkable one for such a young athlete not just on the field, but off as well.
Nunez went to Midland Lee High School where he played quarterback. In the Summer of 2013, Nunez was told by now-Kansas City Chiefs coordinator Mike Smith to come to Texas Tech and be a walk-on for the program. He would walk-on and immediately be told he would have to be put on their weight gain program to play safety. Nunez gained 40 lbs and the team decided to move him to the defensive line. Nunez would not play his freshman year and would be a scouting dummy. In 2014, he would see more game action on special teams and as a reserve on defense.
Nunez said he chose Texas Tech because he had a few connections to the school.
“It was the school my father played at and it was the first game I saw on TV,” Nunez said. “When I found out I could walk-on I didn’t even know what that meant at the time because I was an engineering major. So it meant the world to me to do both.”
Nunez would receive a scholarship during his redshirt sophomore season in 2015. He would appear in just two games before getting injured.
“They first diagnosed me with just a strain, after the MRI they told me and I was broken,” Nunez said. “My dad tore his ACL back in high school and never came back from it.”
His father said to him “Son, you can either stop playing like most people do or decide to work hard, bounce back and come back stronger than you did before.”
Nunez told his trainer “I want you to promise me that you’ll give me the hardest rehab that you’ve ever given anyone, don’t ever let up on me and I’ll make sure it’s the hardest thing you’ve ever given anyone. I had tears rolling down my eyes.”
From that moment on, his trainer never let up on the intensity and pushed Nunez to his limits consistency. Nunez would bounce back and during his junior season, appeared in all 12 games, including 2 starts.
Dealing with Life’s Adversity
In the fall of 2017, Nunez’s father was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He would have to have emergency surgery and start recovering. Nunez showed up to the hospital in-between practices and classes. However, his father once again had to have another surgery within the three weeks of overcoming the emergency one.
“I had missed a whole week of practice and the doctors said he was the sickest man in the area,” Nunez said. “I had to call my brother who was in the Air Force Academy and tell him Dad might not make it.”
All of Nunez’s family showed up. The doctors performed a Hail Mary surgery that was successful, but had to perform another one in the next few days. While this was happening Nunez and his wife Kaylee were expecting a child.
“Before all this happened, I remember my Dad being extremely happy and I hadn’t seen a smile from him like that before,” Nunez recalled. He was driving his wife home on a late night. His mother called and told him that his father had passed away. “That was the hardest night of my life seeing my dad leave and try to be strong for my brothers.
Living through his Hero
I asked Nunez How his father now lives through him, “He was a very consistent man. We learned tough hard labor, basically built the family home with our bare hands. He showed me what it took to go out and reach your goals and be successful, so in every way, he was my hero. If I stop now, I wouldn’t be fulfilling his legacy in what he taught me. The way he showed me the word of God and how to memorize verses and apply them to life. Also, knowing at the end of the day that this place is not our home and its in heaven and will eventually be able to see him once more, I think about every single morning and its emotion that will never go away.
Later in the year, Nunez’s senor season concluded with 10 games while receiving a plethora of academic awards.
Why Talor should be drafted
Talor didn’t have the best stats because he was a late bloomer on the college scene. However, Nunez is a player where he will thrive in any situation not only on the field but will be a leader off the field. His engineering background gives him a great advantage.
“All I need is good coaching,” Nunez said.