CLEVELAND, Ohio — Memphis Tigers running back Kenneth Gainwell is headed to Philadelphia. The Eagles selected him with the 150th pick in the 5th round.
According to NFL.com, Gainwell was the Mississippi Class 3A Mr. Football as a senior at Yazoo County High School. Memphis snapped him up in the 2018 class, though he decided to redshirt his freshman season after four games (four carries, 91 yards, 22.8, one touchdown; six receptions, 52 yards, 8.7 average) because he was stuck behind future pros Darrell Henderson, Patrick Taylor and Tony Pollard.
Gainwell became the workhorse back in 2019, starting 13 of 14 games and garnering first-team All-American Athletic Conference and the AAC Rookie of the Year honors after rushing for 1,459 yards and 13 scores on 231 carries (6.3 per). He also was a valuable weapon as a receiver (51 receptions, 610 yards, 12.0 average, three touchdowns).
He chose not to return to Memphis for the 2020 season amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Gainwell’s brother, Curtis Jr., was attempting to walk on at Southern Mississippi but suffered a stroke while weightlifting that required multiple brain surgeries and ended his pursuit of a football career