As of Jan. 18, the Nebraska football team had signed three wide receivers and received two strong commitments from two more. Two wideouts enrolled early and had begun classes and workouts. But Troy Walters stayed greedy on the recruiting trail. There was one more receiver prospect the Huskers’ offensive coordinator had to have.
This time, Walters sought his next receiver in 3-star receiver Andre Hunt, a Lancaster (Calif.) Paraclete prospect. Hunt committed to the Nebraska staff on Feb. 4, the final day of his official visit, before announcing he’d signed with the Huskers three days later on National Signing Day.
For Walters, who also is Nebraska’s wide receivers coach, and the Huskers to come \after Hunt with a stable of receivers already pledged was huge to Hunt.
“It meant a big deal,” Hunt told Land of 10. “This is Stanley Morgan’s last year, so they’re going to need receivers coming through the years.
“It was mind-blowing for him [Walters] to want me and for him to make me a priority in their offense,” Hunt added. “I really appreciate it.”
Walters assured Hunt that most of the receivers in the class would play on the inside, out of the slot, and operate as more of pure skill-position type players. What the Huskers needed was a vertical threat on the outside who also could slide inside if need be, so versatility was required.
Hunt, at only 6-foot and 175 pounds, is not big. He knows that. Rather, his speed will make all of the difference. It’s also why he said he feels he’s a perfect match for the plan that Walters and coach Scott Frost’s have for him in the offense.
“They have a lot of those skill dudes, those shifty dudes,” Hunt said. “I’m pretty fast. I think I’m pretty fast. Me and some other dudes, they recruited us to take the top off the defenses and blow past the defenders. I think I can do that [well].”
Those “other dudes” Hunt refers to probably are 3-star wideout Dominick Watt and junior college transfer Mike Williams, both of whom also can provide the staff with vertical threat options.
At one point, Hunt was committed to USC. He de-committed from the Trojans two days before the early signing period upon realizing he would not be a priority to sign. According to the 247Sports composite rankings, Hunt was the 96th-ranked receiver in the class and the No. 566 overall prospect.
The Nebraska staff sees him as a contributor on special teams, primarily at punt return. He returned both kickoffs and punts in high school. Some prospects don’t enjoy that aspect of the game, but that’s not the case for Hunt.
“I’ll play whatever coach needs me to play,” Hunt said. “Whenever I can get the ball in my hands, I’m trying to go [for] six. I do enjoy that aspect of football and when I get up there, I’m willing to take whatever position.”
And that statement speaks to the type of player he is. Like several of the other wide receiver recruits in this class, he has big-play potential. His high school stats are the evidence: Hunt caught 67 passes for 1,185 yards and 18 touchdowns during his senior season, according to MaxPreps.com.
Here’s how 247Sports analyst Greg Biggins evaluated Hunt.
“He has a nice burst, the speed to get deep and can run away from a secondary. He’s an explosive player in the return game and looks like a natural pass catcher as well. He’s very good on wide receiver screen passes and does a nice job making multiple defenders miss in the open field. He probably projects best in the slot but shows the versatility to move around and line up wide or even out of the backfield as well.”
Hunt has the chance to lead Nebraska highlight reels in the coming years. And now it’s time to see if Walters’ final push on the recruiting trail in 2018 will pay off.
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