MJ's Gurchiek inks with CU
By TOMMY BRYAN, sports editor
Gurchiek opted to take his time before deciding to play for the Bulldogs, weighing offers from several programs -- including interest from the U.S. Naval Academy. National Signing Day, February 3, came and went while the Class 3A Mr. Football finalist was still mulling his options.
Alexander never pushed Gurchiek, he made sure the District 9AAA MVP understood Cumberland would hold a scholarship for him as long as necessary. “When we’re going head to head with some of the football programs that were talking to Reed -- you feel pretty good about being solidly in the running,” Alexander said. “Reed is the kind of young man any program, anywhere would be proud to have.”
The Bulldogs, who played three QB’s last season due to injury, finished 5-6 overall and lost three games by a total of three points -- just missing out on a share of the Mid-South Conference West Division title. Alexander’s offense, a hybrid Wing-T with spread formation looks, is remarkably similar to the offense Gurchiek ran at Mt. Juliet.
“I had offers from some other schools, but Cumberland seemed like the best fit for me with the offense they run,” Gurchiek said. “The program is on the rise and I want to play for a school that is competing for championships. I would like to teach and coach after college and Cumberland fits those goals.”
As a senior, Gurchiek helped lead Mt. Juliet to a record of 9-2 and a berth in the Class 6A playoffs. He accounted for 31 touchdowns in 2009, throwing for 15 and running for 16 more. He completed 69-of-120 passing attempts (58 percent) for 1,358 yards and ran 107 times for 706 yards (6.6 per carry).
An honor student with a 4.2 GPA, Gurchiek will graduate this spring in the top ten percent of his class at Mt. Juliet. He was the winner of the “Tradition of Service Award” presented by Franklin American Mortgage Company & Music City Bowl, Inc.
In March, Gurchiek is slated to receive the Admiral Lawrence Scholarship Award -- presented by the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame, Inc.