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Chiefs fullback Gentry no stranger to underdog role

Posted Jun 27, 2012

Taylor Gentry, a former college walk-on, is trying to earn a roster spot at fullback

#49 Taylor Gentry — Fullback — N.C. State

Pre-KC:

Attending N.C. State is a family tradition for Gentry (6-2, 250 lbs.), who’s father and younger brother both played football for the university. Even Gentry’s mother was a featured baton twirler at Wolfpack football games in the 1980s.

Gentry began his college career as a walk-on, sixth-string tight end in 2008. By the end of the year, he was serving as N.C. State’s starting fullback. A scholarship came the following spring.

Must-See Statistic:

Gentry is an old school fullback who served as team captain and played in 44 games for the Wolfpack, but didn’t record a single rushing attempt. He did, however, catch 38 passes, scored five touchdowns and averaged 8.3 yards per reception over his four seasons at N.C. State.

“My game as a fullback is smash-mouth, hit you in the mouth, but I can also catch a football,” Gentry said. “I had no rushes at N.C. State, sadly, so maybe I can get a rush here. If not, I can definitely catch a football out of the backfield and if they want me to lead up on a linebacker, I’ll try to knock his block off.”

Gentry was also N.C. State’s leading special teams tackler from 2008-10. His brother, Zach, supplanted him as the Wolfpack’s leading special teams stopper last season.

Chiefs Nation Should Know:

Taylor Gentry had heard the words before. Just four words in total, but powerful when strung together.

“You can’t do it.”

When it comes to his football career, Gentry heard the phrase plenty of times but refused to listen. His only scholarship offer coming out of Leesville Road High School (Raleigh, NC) was to NCAA Division II UNC Pembroke, so he decided to join N.C. State as a walk-on.

The former high school wide receiver, just 200 pounds before his college arrival, became a starter at fullback by the end of his freshman season and was awarded a scholarship by ’Pack head coach Tom O’Brien.

Four years later, it’s déjà-vu. Gentry is essentially in the same place trying to do the same thing. He wasn’t one of the 253 players selected in April’s draft, so Gentry is the NFL’s version of a college walk-on as an undrafted rookie.

“It’s one feeling that’s like, you know, I do it for every kid that people tell them that they can’t do it,” Gentry said. “I was told by many people that I wouldn’t be here, including people in high school.  Coaches, friends and family told me ‘There’s no way you are going to be in the NFL,’ and I’m here.”

Gentry is here indeed, and he has just as good of a chance to make the Chiefs as any other undrafted player. Maybe a better chance considering the position he plays.

The Chiefs roster just two fullbacks and neither own any NFL game experience. Gentry spent OTAs and minicamp rotating with Shane Bannon, a 2011 seventh-round pick from Yale that spent most of his rookie season on the practice squad injured list.

“Yeah, I’m just an undrafted free-agent, but I’m willing to make some noise and let people know I’m here,” Gentry said. 

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