What was it like initially when you found out you didn't make it in to Clemson last year?
Hunter: Oh my goodness. It was devastating. It was a dream that I felt like I wouldn't be able to live. But I had a lot of positive people in my life, coaches, teachers, family members, fans, pretty much everybody. The community at Byrnes and District 5 is so grounded. I had a lot of positive influences. My grandfather was a positive influence for me. He's kind of the backbone to my family. He kept me grounded. He's very strict but he let me know everything was going to be okay. And everything is okay. So I said to myself, I guess I'll keep staying positive and keep on having positive people around me.
What was a day like for you as you waited to come to Clemson after you didn't qualify?
Hunter: It was tough because on top of knowing I didn't qualify ... everybody else knew I didn't qualify. Just going to work every day and going to class every day, there was a lot of negative and positive. Everything I've ever had in life I've had to work for so at no point did I ever feel like giving up. So when it came up I didn't qualify I never felt like giving up. I knew I could do it.
Was it an empty feeling not being able to play or to enroll at Clemson?
Hunter: Oh yeah, there was always an emptiness. Not having it ... it was so hard. My cousin Everette, who goes to Byrnes ... seeing him going to practice and games on Friday ... it was like, 'oh my God." I was getting jacked up in the house but I had to go to work the next day. I kept saying, I've got to hurry up and get to Clemson. But there was never a time I felt like I couldn't do it.
When you got the call that said you were in at Clemson. What was your reaction?
Hunter: Oh my gosh. It was amazing. The first people I called were Will [Korn], Chad [Diehl] Xavier [Dye] and they were getting ready to go to practice so they put a bunch of guys on the phone in the locker room and it sounded like a big party going on. I was so elated. And I still am. I feel like I'm walking on water right now. I was screaming for about a week but I'm here now and I'm ready to get started and ready to get everything going.
What is it like having those guys here for you already? Xavier, Willy and Chad.
Hunter: It is amazing. We were so close in high school. We are like brothers. So, to be here with them, knowing I have somebody to lean on outside of football issues. Or something personal I know I can go to one of those guys and talk to them about it. So it definitely means more than going to Georgia or Florida State or somewhere far from home.
Are you thinking you are going to play as a safety or an outside linebacker?
Hunter: I was projected as a safety and a linebacker. Here, I think I'll be a linebacker. But if playing kicker gets me on the field I'll play kicker. I'm here now so I'm ready to overcome all the obstacles. I'll probably play Will.
Six Pack of Questions with S. Hunter
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