Seth Henigan makes Tigers history in first start as Memphis quarterback

Published: Sep. 5, 2021 at 10:32 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Game one is in the books for the Memphis Tigers

Freshman starting quarterback Seth Henigan made history, becoming the first true freshman to start a season opener for the Tigers.

Impressive, no doubt, and his play backed it up.

Henigan looked calm, cool and collected, which seems to be his personality. He’s played in big games before. Two of them being Texas High School State Championships, but this is the one he says he felt most nervous in.

This didn’t shake him as the pro style quarterback throwing for 265 yards and a touchdown without a turnover in the 42-17 win over Nicholls State.

Henigan says going into fall camp he knew the playbook, he just needed to make the plays to win over the team. And as the weeks in August went on, he could tell what was happening, so it was no surprise when Head Coach Ryan Silverfield told him mid-week, he’s their guy.

He’s also been getting the support of the Tigers all-time passing leader Brady White, who is now working on the Tigers staff.

“Over the course of the game he goes through what went on in the previous drive for me and he relays the information about what he heard from Coach Johns or someone who’s up top in the box,” Henigan said. “He just came like two to three weeks ago, so just getting to know him a little better because I didn’t know him from before, it’s been good to have him around our program and around me to help me grow a little bit.”

Arizona transfer Quarterback Grant Gunnell was not dressed out for the game. We only knew he was dealing with some sort of injury this fall camp and he was walking around with a visible limp.

Silverfield says Gunnell made it through practice Tuesday, but the staff then decided to send him to a doctor. They’ll continue to evaluate his injury, but doesn’t expect him to be ready to play in the next couple weeks.

Silverfield says from that point they were confident going with Henigan who got in a lot of reps with the ones leading up to the game.

“He does elude great confidence and during spring ball we saw growth and steps,” Silverfield said. “Just like any player it doesn’t happen over night and hopefully tonight wasn’t the cream of the crop for what he is and we hope week and week he can develop. That’s every phase of our team. As a true freshman qb the more playing time he gets, the more moxie we’ll see on the field, greater understanding, command of the offense, all those things will come into play.”

That includes game two when the Tigers hit the road to Jonesboro to take on Arkansas State, Saturday, September 11 at 6 p.m.

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