With National Signing Day coming and going, SU football now will begin to focus on building its depth chart despite the opening game being half a year away.
Amid tons of shuffling and controversy at the quarterback position during the second half of the season, it has become very easy to forget what Terrel Hunt did for the program in his little time as the starter.
Hunt, who fractured his fibula last season, will work with the first team offense when spring practices begin in a little less than two weeks. In just five games last year, Hunt totaled 983 passing yards, 292 rushing yards, a total of seven touchdowns and four interceptions. He also led the Orange to a Texas Bowl win two years ago, in one of the best statistical performances of his career.
If he can stay healthy, Hunt will be a clear-cut starter for the Orange above sophomores AJ Long and Austin Wilson, as well as three-star recruit Eric Dungey. For the first time since that fibula injury, Hunt actually is healthy.
Under center, Hunt gives the Orange something that none of the other quarterbacks on the depth chart can provide: a big body that is hard to bring down. This is best resembled by his six rushing touchdowns, which usually came as a side product of not being able to throw the ball in the red zone.
While Long also gave the Orange a running attack, he didn’t find the same success that Hunt did down the stretch. While battling to retain his starting position, Long put up 935 passing yards and four touchdowns with eight interceptions in six games.
As a senior, Hunt undoubtedly will be a leader both on and off the field for the Orange, so it is important for the coaching staff to instill confidence in its leaders. He will be relied upon heavily to carry the offense, in another year with very little offensive weapons. The Orange loses Prince-Tyson Gulley and Jarrod West, two of its most productive skill players (which still isn’t saying much).
But, powered by a recruiting class that has plenty of potential, Hunt could find himself some new weapons. On the outside, he will be working with rising sophomore, Steve Ishmael, who didn’t start to shine until the second half of the season, and playmaker Ashton Broyld, who couldn’t stay on the field. Add in Erv Phillips, and incoming freshman running back, Dontae Strickland, and Hunt may have some players to work with this year. Regardless, it is good to have a familiar face under center.
Posted: Jason Weingold