Chalk Talk Episode #12: Don’t Get into a Football Trivia Challenge with Cincinnati Bengals Defensive End Jeffrey Gunter. You Will Not Win.

A life-long student of the NFL, Jeffrey is now living his dream of spending every day on the field. But he didn’t get here by wishing and hoping. This dream is the result of hard work and determination. Hear this underdog’s story.

Cincinnati Bengals Defensive End Jeffrey Gunter
by Adam Petrus
March 31, 2023

Name an NFL team from 1974 and 23-year-old Jeffrey Gunter will start spewing off player names, statistics and more. That’s what happens when you watch NFL Network every weekend as a child instead of cartoons. You put yourself in a position to know a lot about football and to make it to the NFL, despite the societal odds that may be against you.

See, Jeffrey Gunter – who just completed his rookie season as a defensive end for the Cincinnati Bengals – spent most of his youth overlooked, underrated and under-recruited. His mom told him he would go far, though, and kept pushing him to push himself. So, he did.

His senior year of high school, he switched from safety (a position he played his whole life) to defensive end. Though he was probably too skinny for that position at only 185 pounds, he was super scrappy – a trait that the scouts at Coastal Carolina University valued tremendously when they recruited him. Appreciating the opportunity he had received to get one step closer to reaching his childhood dream of playing in the NFL, and determined not to be red-shirted like everyone told him he would, Jeffrey showed up to college a semester early to ensure he could get on the field his freshman year and make an immediate impact.

He knows that hard work will always be seen, and that if you put yourself in the best position to succeed every single day of your life, at some point, you’re going to get a chance to show what you can do. In other words, you can’t control the situation you’re in, but you can control how you handle it. And Jeffrey sure has handled every situation with poise, professionalism and humility.

Listen to our Chalk Talk chat with him now to hear more about…

  • What his first year in the NFL was like – and what he encountered on his wild journey to the NFL.
  • How he and his buddies use the NFL’s Next Gen Stats.
  • Why he doesn’t regret putting his family first his whole life, even when it risked his football career.
  • The biggest life lesson he’s learned and the advice he gives to other people who feel they’re not being given a fair shake – or that people don’t even know to look in their direction – whether in sports, business or life in general.


Missed these past Chalk Talk episodes? Catch up now:

Adam Petrus
Adam Petrus is currently the Client Services Project Manager within Zebra Sports at Zebra Technologies where he is responsible for co-managing the game day operation of the NFL’s Next Gen Stats program. Adam has more than 10 years of experience within the sports and technology industry and has been working with Next Gen Stats since 2015. Previously, he worked in the front office of an NFL Football Club and then the United States Intelligence Community supporting business operations.
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