Off the field, Chucky Hunter is a quite, humble, unassuming guy. On the field, he's a nightmare for opposing linemen, quarterbacks and running backs. The 6-foot-1, 305 pound defensive tackle was a monster for the Horned Frogs for four seasons, and now he's on the brink of taking his game to the next level.
From Louisiana To Texas
Hunter attended West Monroe High School in West Monroe, Louisiana, where he recorded 82 tackles, including 18 for loss, as a senior, earning a four star rating from Rivals.com. He was rated as the No. 27 defensive tackle in the country for the recruiting class of 2011, and he received interest from a variety of schools, including TCU, Baylor, Illinois, Ole Miss, Missouri, Oklahoma State, Mississippi State, Memphis and Louisiana Tech. However, during the recruiting process, TCU stood out.
Hunter said that his recruiting coach, Coach Burns, made him feel like family, a phrase we often hear from kids being recruited by TCU. Hunter noted that Burns and TCU were persistent, even when he didn't have his ACT scores.
"TCU kept me, and still treated me like family. That's what brought me to TCU," Hunter said. It also helped, Hunter said, that TCU was a great place to get an education, and early playing time was on the table.
Hunter received interest from the big name in Louisiana, LSU, but an offer from the Tigers never came, and on January 16, 2011, Chucky committed to the Frogs.
A Force From Day One
As soon as Hunter stepped foot on campus, he was making an impact for the Frogs' vaunted defense. Becoming the first true freshman to start for the Horned Frogs since 2007, Hunter finished the 2011 season with 17 tackles, including two and a half tackles for loss.
That was all a plus, because for Hunter, the family environment he was promised as a recruit was turning into a reality. The addition of two friendly faces in 2012 would only bolster that feeling.
When Terrell Lathan and James McFarland stepped foot on campus in 2012, Chucky Hunter was reunited with two old running mates from West Monroe High School. Playing with Lathan and McFarland was good, Hunter said, because, "you feel comfortable playing with them." That comfort level helped the trio from West Monroe tear up offensive lines over the past few seasons. It also helped because the three were good motivators for each other, but Hunter said the motivation didn't stop there.
"We all motivate each other on the team," Hunter said, noting that now-retired coach Dick Bumpas was great at keeping the defense from being satisfied.
In all, Hunter played in 50 games for the Horned Frogs, starting 35, and he finished his TCU career with 140 tackles, 24 tackles for loss and eight and a half sacks.
Preparing for the NFL
Hunter was one of several Horned Frogs invited to participate in a post-season game, and he put in a lot of good work at the East-West Shrine Game, in St. Petersburg, Florida along with teammates Tayo Fabuluje and Sam Carter.
Hunter called it a "great experience," noting that, "not too many people get blessed with the opportunity to play [in a game like this]."
Hunter is projected to be a late round pickup in the 2015 NFL Draft, but is getting good remarks on his play, and character, from a variety of scouts. Dane Brugler of CBS Sports had this to say about Hunter back in January:
A three-year starter, Hunter has been an active ingredient to the Horned Frogs' success on defense, getting upfield quickly and also protecting the edge. He brings a good mix of strength and foot quickness to be a two-down interior presence.
While Hunter was not invited to the NFL Combine, it's likely he'll be invited to at least a few workouts by NFL teams, and of course he'll have TCU's Pro Day on March 27th. However, when asked about the chance to play in the NFL, Hunter kept it simple.
"It's a blessing if I have a chance to play in the NFL."
Amen to that, Chucky, and best of luck.