How this BYU receiver’s recent marriage will help the Cougars on the football field
‘She’s my favorite roommate I have had, for sure’: Gunner Romney’s new wife is a yoga instructor, which comes in handy considering he’s battled hamstring issues for years
Receiver Gunner Romney believes he has found the solution to hamstring issues that have plagued him since he arrived at BYU three years ago as a highly touted three-star prospect from Chandler, Arizona.
He married a yoga instructor.
“She’s great. She’s been getting my hamstrings nice and loose,” Romney said. “So it has been good. I think (marriage) will have a positive effect on me.”
“We have 10 people who could play at any time as receivers. I think the depth is real. We have one of the best groups in the country at receiver.” — BYU receiver Gunner Romney
Romney, who had to miss three games last year due to injury but still caught 39 passes for 767 yards and two touchdowns, is the leader of a receiving corps that many are saying could be the deepest and most talented in 30 years at BYU, maybe ever.
“We have 10 people who could play at any time as receivers,” Romney said. “I think the depth is real. We have one of the best groups in the country at receiver.”
Lest anyone think that Romney married Sadie, a Utah Valley University student, solely for her yoga expertise, think again. He’s known and been friends with the native Utahn for five or six years; they started dating last summer, got engaged this past spring, and tied the knot July 16.
“She’s my favorite roommate I have had, for sure,” Romney said, which obviously isn’t unusual but should come with the reminder that Romney and recent No. 2 NFL draft pick Zach Wilson were roommates for more than two years in Provo.
There have been some BYU athletes who haven’t played nearly as well after marriage than before — we won’t name names — but the 6-foot-3, 195-pound Romney insists that won’t be the case with him.
“If anything, I think it will be a positive,” he said. “I don’t have to worry about going out on weekends and hanging out with friends and stuff. Like, I can just go home to the wife and get to bed early every single night. … With the yoga, I definitely feel a difference in my body, for sure.”
Romney is a distant relative of Utah Sen. Mitt Romney and the younger brother of quarterback Baylor Romney, who is in a three-way derby to become the Cougars’ starting quarterback.
Naturally, Baylor Romney was his best man, right?
“Baylor likes to think he was,” Gunner said. “I didn’t have a best man, but if he wants to claim that title, I will let him have it.”
Baylor would probably rather have the title of BYU starting quarterback, and it seems as if the situation could get sticky for his brother, but Gunner says it won’t be.
“It is not awkward at all,” Gunner said. “That’s my brother and I love him off the field. But on the field, I have to be selfish. It is the best quarterback that wins the position. If it is him, great, if it is not him that’s OK because I am comfortable with the other two people as well.”
Gunner said his main concern is to stay healthy and continue to be a leader for the entire offense, if not the entire team.
“I feel 100% healthy,” he said. “This is as healthy as I’ve been since I got to BYU (in 2018). Camp has been going really well. It is just fun to get back out there and compete a little bit.”
Although he’s listed as a junior on BYU’s 2021 roster, this will be Romney’s fourth year in the program and almost certainly his last, he confirmed to the Deseret News this week. He’s caught 83 passes for 1,306 yards and six touchdowns in his career to date.
“I am a senior, so I am planning on this being my last year,” he said. “God forbid something bad happens, but I am planning on just playing through this year.”
Then he would like a shot at the NFL, like one of his best friends, former BYU receiver Dax Milne, is getting this summer with the Washington Football Team. Milne caught 70 passes for 1,188 yards last year, his numbers bumped up a bit by Romney’s absence due to injury.
“Me and Dax are two completely different players, but it is cool because we have been competing since Day 1 when he got here,” Romney said. “I feel like we’ve been on the same level every year. And seeing him last year with the success that he had, it gives me a lot of hope.”
This year, Romney has some new competition for catches — newcomers Puka and Samson Nacua, the brothers who transferred in from Washington and Utah. Another fourth-year receiver, Neil Pau’u, is also expected to be in the mix for a starting spot.
Pau’u said he and Romney have done a good job getting the newcomers acclimated and feeling accepted, and Romney concurred.
“Everyone is asking about Puka and Samson and (them fitting in).” Pau’u said. “They have come in and wanted to be a part of the group as well. They didn’t come in and say, ‘I was in the Pac-12, I am such and such, or whatever.’ They just came in and tried to be one of the guys.”
Said Romney: “My attitude is the same — just trying to be the best player I can be, be unselfish, too. We got a bunch of new guys coming in, so we are trying to help them out with the offense and trying to teach them some of the ropes. I am just trying to be the best self I can be.”
And the healthiest — with a little help from his personal yoga instructor.