Just getting to Portland State University was a long journey for Romeo Gunt.
So when you see that the 5-10, 190-pounder, who appears to have muscles on his muscles, made 15 tackles last weekend in the Vikings’ one-touchdown defeat in front of about 61,000 people at Arkansas, you figure it wasn’t the most difficult task he’s accomplished in life. That the reigning Big Sky Conference defensive player of the week found his way to Portland in the first place is nothing short of amazing.
And the whole thing about even playing football is a bit of a surprise, too.
You see, Gunt’s mother was a professional soccer player and he spent the first seven years of his life in Ivory Coast, a country on the south coast of west Africa, where he spoke only French.
But his family moved to Philadelphia and he found football because his mother enjoyed watching the Eagles play on television. He played his high school ball at a charter school and didn’t get a lot of exposure, so when he was looking for a place to play in college, he was advised to find a junior college – where more people could see him in action. He ended up at Los Angeles Valley JC, where he made the dean’s list and second-team all-conference.
After junior college, he was recruited by Portland State and fell in love with the city and coaching staff.
The rest has been history. Installed as the team’s rover back, where Coach Bruce Barnum gives Gunt the freedom to use his instinct for the ball, he was the team’s third-leading tackler last season and, by the way, was an academic all-league selection.
There are still aspirations of playing pro football after that, but he’s working toward a degree in sociology.
He was a very enjoyable interview and I think you will find the accompanying video entertaining.