Texts from Tanner
LARAMIE – It didn’t take long for his cell phone to start
On the other end – his older brother was sending congratulations. Then came the “but.”
There's always a but …
“He gave me some choice words,” Wyoming’s sophomore wide receiver, Gunner Gentry, laughed when talking about the message he received from his brother, Tanner Gentry.
“I don’t know if I can repeat what he said. He said some
good things. It is all out of love.”
It was a worthy occasion.
Just moments prior, the younger Gentry snagged his first collegiate
pass, a 44-yard beauty down the sideline that helped lead to a scoring drive in
a 23-14 road win over Texas State last Saturday night. Gentry played in 11
games as a freshman in 2018. He never got on the stat sheet.
Wyoming head coach Craig Bohl was either really impressed or misspoke during his postgame press conference.
He even called Gunner “Tanner.”
“I must’ve done something right,” Gunner joked. “Plus, our names are only a couple of letters off.”
Being shutout in your first season is hard enough, but when
your brother is one of the best receivers in Wyoming history, it makes it that
much tougher. The name in the game program comes with certain expectations.
Gunner knows that.
“It was good to get that one under my belt,” he said. “I saw the coverage, and me and Sean (Chambers) made a little eye contact. I knew the ball was coming my way. It was nice to go up and make that catch and get the first one out of the way.”
Did the ball feel like it was up there for an hour?
“A little bit,” Gentry said with a grin. “I felt like I was
running for a really long time, trying to get to that ball. But as soon as I
got there, I made the catch. It felt really good to get that one.”
In a week-one win over Mizzou, Gentry thought he was going to get this 1,000-pound gorilla off his back and into a safe, locked-away cage. Not only his first catch, but possibly his first touchdown. Instead, Chambers threw the ball low to avoid pressure and it landed at the feet of Gentry in the north end zone early in the fourth quarter.
That one would’ve put the game away. Instead, the Cowboys settled for a Cooper Rothe field goal.
It also added to Gentry’s wait.
He didn’t get in the reception column, but that didn’t mean
the text messages weren’t coming.
They aren’t sugar-coated, either.
“He’s very critical of me,” Gentry said. “I send him film and
he gives me something I can work on or tells me something he noticed. He’s been
in the game a long time. It’s nice to have that perspective. It’s nice to hear
that I did something wrong and need to work on things instead of just good
Tanner Gentry, who was recently released by the Chicago
Bears, hauled in 180 passes for 2,815 yards and 20 touchdowns during his
four-year career (2013-16) in Laramie. Those all Top-10 marks in school
So, 179 catches to go?
“You have to go in with that kind of confidence,” he said. “When
my number is called, I’m going to go out and make plays.”
Gentry knows the Cowboys passing attack has been less than
stellar through two games this season. He wants to assure fans that the receiving
corps is working hard to get on the same page with Chambers. That means extra
reps and more time in the film room, he added.
It might not seem like it, but Gentry thinks this offense is
on the cusp of doing something special. The chemistry and timing, he said, is
just “off” right now.
“It’s early in the season,” he said. “I realize we haven’t
been as productive as we hoped to be, but I feel the next couple of games, Sean
will settle in, and us as a corps will settle in and be more productive over
the next couple games and throughout the season.”
If not, expect a text message or 10.