Hunter Suffers Broken Foot

CLEMSON – Thomas Hunter loves Clemson so much that he opted to come to the school to try and make the football team as a walk-on. He didn't care about a scholarship. All he wanted was to be a part of something that he grew up admiring. Sadly, Hunter's story won't have the perfect ending.

The senior tight end broke the fifth metatarsal in his right foot Sunday night in practice during a non-contact drill. Hunter planted his foot on the field turf to make a change of direction and when he did so, the bone snapped.

What had been a storybook career won't have a happy conclusion as Hunter will miss the Music City Bowl later this month. He has played the final game of his career.

"I felt it pop and I knew exactly what had happened," Hunter said. "I knew it was broke. It sucks. It's a crappy way to go out."

Hunter, who graduates in a few weeks and is headed into the hospital administration field, finishes the season 16 catches for 305 yards, which is the most by a tight end in a single season since Bennie Cunningham had 312 in 1975. Hunter had six catches this year of at least 20 yards or more, including one for 71 yards against Maryland.

For his career, Hunter, who finally got that scholarship during last season, leaves with 29 receptions for 425 yards and 17 starts. He was without question the team's best tight end over the last two years.

"I've given it everything I've had the whole time I've been here," said Hunter, who's been on the Dean's List. "I don't really have any regrets. (Injuries) happen sometimes."

This is the third time this year a starter on the football team as broken that exact same bone.

Safety Michael Hamlin did it against Boston College in the second game of the season and receiver Chansi Stuckey also did it during a non-contact drill in practice. Coincidently enough, all three took place on field turf.

"It seem like it (is an epidemic)," Hunter said. "I guess when you get hit with the injury bug, it just keeps on coming."

Still, all in all, the career's not bad for a walk-on from Marion, S.C. The only thing he didn't do is score a touchdown.

"I just wanted to run down the hill," he said. "To have had the opportunity to play in some of the games I've played in and be a part of the team, it's definitely been worth it. I wouldn't trade any of it at all. I wouldn't trade one day."

CUTigers.com Top Stories