Clemson Class of 2022 commits have put on quite the show in July.
While the Tigers’ 2022 class is still relatively small, they’ve still had a big impact at some national camps and showcases this summer.
That includes Pinellas Park (Largo, Fla.) 2022 three-star kicker Robert Gunn III, who recently participated in the U.S. National Football Team’s training camp sessions in Canton (Ohio).
He took to Twitter on Thursday morning, announcing that he had been honored as the camp’s National Specialist MVP.
Want to thank @usnft and @usa_football and the whole organization and coaches staff for letting me be apart of this amazing experience! Big thanks to @onearmguy for instructional work and to maximize my kicking! Very blessed to be selected as the National camp Specialist MVP! pic.twitter.com/w46wgLTvaL
— Robert Gunn III (@Robert_Gunn_3) July 8, 2021
Gunn recently caught up with The Clemson Insider regarding what he’s been hearing from the Tigers lately and how his commitment to Clemson came to be.
According to Gunn, the Tigers have been telling Gunn to just keep doing his thing. Clemson can’t wait to have Gunn on campus to start training with the team.
Gunn silently committed at the Elite Retreat, but he never intended for that to happen.
Gunn and his father drove an RV up to Clemson on a Thursday, with Gunn scheduled to kick on that Friday. From there, he was supposed to go to Georgia, Florida and Florida State.
So, Gunn kicked Friday with Director of Special Teams Bill Spiers and Dabo Swinney watching over him.
Swinney asked Gunn to stay for the Elite Retreat and he decided to stay. He couldn’t tell Clemson’s head coach otherwise. Swinney informed Gunn that he wanted him to get more knowledge on Clemson because he doesn’t like “wasting offers.”
“I just fell in love with the school,” Gunn said. “The culture there is really real. The people there are just unbelievable. The atmosphere there couldn’t be better.”
Gunn was communicating with his father that if Swinney did come with an offer, he was likely going to commit.
Swinney called for Gunn to come to his office on that Sunday morning.
“He gave me that offer and I told coach that I wanted to be all in,” he said.
“Since Day 1, my dad called it a ‘pipe dream’ and we just stuck with it and it paid off,” Gunn said. “It was kind of emotional too because all these people didn’t believe in me and didn’t think I had the talent. I finally did it.”
Before his commitment, Gunn had been in contact with Clemson for about 3-4 months. He sent Spiers some of his film, which led to an invitation to kick in front of Swinney this summer.
“We just hit it off from the get-go, Gunn said of his relationship with Spiers. “It’s a strong bond.”
Last year around this time, Gunn would’ve never imagined something like this in his wildest dreams.
Before being evaluated by Swinney, Gunn said he asked Spiers about when he’d be able to take a photoshoot with the jerseys. Spiers was quick to turn down Gunn informing him that Clemson isn’t like other schools and the Tigers just don’t give out their jerseys.
Gunn respected where Spiers was coming from and he wound up earning that photoshoot with his performance.
According to Gunn, Swinney jokingly told Spiers that if the Florida native isn’t the Bryan Bresee of kickers, then he doesn’t want him.
It sure looks like Swinney got his Bresee.
Unbeknownst to some, the kicking world is a pretty tight-knit community. Gunn is close friends with both Clemson kicker B.T. Potter and Bradley Pinion, the former Clemson punter, who recently won a Super Bowl with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
“I was just asking them just all about Clemson,” Gunn said. “What do you guys do here as specialists? Are you guys coached really well? Are there some days that you don’t kick? Do they manage your reps? What workouts do you guys do? Just all the basic stuff.”