September 30, 2008
Hunter impresses in Aggie debut
One start, one award. That's a pretty good record for Texas A&M true freshman Trent Hunter who made his first start of his young collegiate career Saturday in a 21-17 Aggie win over Army. Hunter's game-leading 17 tackles, 11 solo, earned him Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week honors.
It's the first time an Aggie player has even sniffed a conference award this season, and if Hunter continues to have the kind of impact he had against the Black Knights he may have a chance to get another one down the road. It certainly wouldn't surprise anyone with the Aggies if he continued on towards a great freshman campaign.
"The thing I like about him is every day is Christmas to him. He wakes up and it's like Christmas Day every day to him. He loves to play. He hadn't figured out how to take a shortcut yet, he does it full speed every snap," said A&M defensive coordinator Joe Kines. "I don't think we have anyone who studies as hard and prepares as well as he did, and that's great because the result was there. Sometimes you tell these youngsters it's what you put into it on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday that helps you on Saturday and he certainly did that. To get that result is real gratifying."
Hunter owes his first start not only to his play and attitude in practice, but also to an injury to starting free safety Jordan Peterson that kept him out of the game against Army. Kines said that the starting job will be determined this week with Peterson back in practice and battling Hunter for the job.
But with an attitude of a child playing pick-up ball in the sandlot, the status isn't a concern to Hunter. He said he just wants to play every day likes it's a game. Don't be surprised, however, to see No. 22 starting in the defensive backfield against Oklahoma State Saturday evening to open Big 12 conference play.
"(My attitude) all started off when we were playing Pop Warner-type football," Hunter said. "Football is supposed to be a fun sport so you go out there and make every day like a game day. Game day is going to be more hyped but to go out to practice every day is an honor. It's an honor to go out there every day."
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