The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

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The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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Hunt making a mark at SMU, prospect for 2013 NFL Draft

Ian+Kinsler+attempts+a+catch+against+a+diving+Howie+Kendrick+%2848%29+during+Friday%E2%80%99s+opening+game+in+Arlington.
Courtesy of AP
Ian Kinsler attempts a catch against a diving Howie Kendrick (48) during Friday’s opening game in Arlington.

Senior Margus Hunt, NFL Draft prospect, came to SMU for track and field. (Sidney Hollingsworth/The Daily Campus)

Senior SMU defensive end Margus Hunt has been dubbed the ‘Best Athlete in DFW’ by The Dallas Morning News this off-season and has looked forward to leaving his mark at SMU since he began his football career just four years ago.

Hunt had never played football before coming to the Hilltop and it took a year before the football coaches were able to get him to participate in a tryout.

“I really didn’t want to leave SMU, I liked the campus [and] I liked the programs. So we sat down and talked about the possibility with Coach Jones and we had the tryout in November,” Hunt said in a recent radio interview with 1310 The Ticket.

After coming to SMU from Estonia to train with SMU track and field coach Dave Wollman, in hopes of bringing back a men’s track and field program to SMU, Hunt needed a way to stay at SMU and was able to earn a full-ride scholarship on the football team after his tryout.

Hunt’s first day in pads was awkward, but the ‘freak athlete’ has been able to develop his skills and has become a handful for opposing defensive coordinators to game planing.

“It was definitely weird, putting on a helmet and not knowing what to expect,” Hunt said in The Ticket interview.

When Hunt was looking for schools in the United States to train after winning the World Junior Championships in the discussion, one of his friends suggested SMU and to look into training with Coach Wollman.

His brother-in-law paid his first year, but after that Hunt had to pay his own way. His football scholarship made that possible.

His involvement with both track and field and football shows the athlete’s devotion.

“When it comes to sports, I have 100 percent passion for whatever I do. I do track and field with a passion and I do this [football] with a passion. It’s fun being out here,” Hunt said in an interview with The Daily Campus.

Hunt could have ended up at Auburn, Kansas, Washington or Virginia Tech but came to SMU and found a way to stay after his first year.

From there, Hunt worked on his craft as a football player so he could excel in hopes of reaching the NFL.

“The good thing was since I started new, I didn’t have any bad habits. For the coaches, [I] was just a blank sheet of paper. I was a quick learner and as I picked up the technique, I started reading more of the stances and learning the offensive line more and how they blocked,” Hunt said about his improvement.

Hunt said the game has slowed down a bit for him since the beginning and now he is more focused on leading the SMU defense, which has stumbled out of the gates back to where the unit was a year ago.

“[I lead] by example; being on time, being accountable, doing the little things and going to the weight room and doing the running and trying to hustle every play,” Hunt said.

While Hunt’s size and overall athleticism has NFL scouts drooling, he has a good ways to go in developing into true NFL talent. However, with Hunt’s work ethic and abilities, there is a great chance that he will be able to do just that after his days playing for the Mustangs. 

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