Does a nice job making himself small through creases inside and always seems to be falling forward despite his size. Looks really comfortable on perimeter runs, picking his way through traffic and quickly planting his foot in the ground and accelerating toward daylight. Possesses good speed and does a great job accelerating out of his breaks. He’s a two-stepper who reaches top-end speed quickly.
Now, he will get caught dancing a bit too much at times behind the line and lacks the type of power to simply lower his shoulder and grind out tough yards inside. Can be wrapped up easily in a phone booth and isn’t a guy who will be able to run through many tacklers at the next level. However, his low pad level and balance allows him to stay on his feet through contact and at times bounce his way toward the sideline. Isn’t a real physical blocker and doesn’t have the type of lower body power to consistently anchor in blitz pick-up. However, does have the ability to catch the ball out of the backfield. He isn’t a real clean route runner at this stage, but can be a threat in the pass game.
Impression: When the guy is 100% healthy, he’s one of the most dynamic backs in college football. He’s shifty, explosive and has a great feel for tight areas. Looks like a guy who can be a threat both in space and between the tackles at the next level, and in my opinion is one of the top three senior running back prospects in the nation."
Negatives: Small frame, upper body looks thin... Doesn't break a ton of long runs, only has one run over 30 yards in 261 carries this year... Limited around the goal line because of his size, won't run through NFL defenders... Below average in pass protection, doesn't set his feet and gets run over... Missed most of the 2009 season with an ankle injury... Likely not an every down back... Dances with his feet too much, would like to see him get up the field quicker... More quick than fast, doesn't have great long speed."
At 5-8 and 190 pounds, Hunter is obviously smaller than an NFL team would like from an every down back. That would make him a change of pace back at the next level and NFL teams wanted to see if he could stay healthy throughout the 2009 season. He did not. In mid-September, Hunter suffered an ankle injury and only played in eight games. When he did come back from injury, Hunter was not at full strength and he ended the season with just 382 rushing yards on 89 carries.
The injury forced Hunter to return to school for his senior season and he has had great success. Not only has he stayed healthy for the first ten games of the season, but he has put up some superb numbers. On 226 carries, Hunter has rushed for 1,356 yards and 16 touchdowns. He has been less involved in the receiving game this year, but he has returned some kickoffs and has proven that he can be a workhorse despite his small size. OSU's success this season has put Hunter back in the spotlight and his stock is quickly rising and he could be a second or third round selection."
Now that he has been able to recover fully from the ankle injury that plagued him as a junior, he has produced a breakout senior season despite playing behind an average offensive line and often having to make a move just to escape beyond the line of scrimmage. If he had better hands and was more advanced in pass protection, he could fit into the second round."
Looks like a 2nd or 3rd Rounder. If I could pick him up in the 3rd, I would consider myself quite blessed, indeed.
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