Rashad Hunt-ing for Early Playing Time

Rashad Hunt knew only one thing in high school and that's winning at the highest level. Hunt's Lufkin team was always ranked near the top of the Texas Class 5A rankings. The senior defensive end hopes to bring his winning attitude to Iowa State as part of the Class of 2005.

The 6-foot-3, 240-pounder committed to the Cyclones late last week after watching them beat Miami University in the Independence Bowl. He wants to add to the winning tradition being established in Ames.

"I took a visit not too long ago and really liked the school," said Rashad Hunt, who made his trip the weekend of Dec. 17. "It was more or less the coaches and team. I feel like their program is on the rise. Coach McCarney turned the team into a winning team. This is a team that is going to come out every year and fight for the Big 12 North title.

"If they play like they should, they'll come out with a bowl game every year. They've got a lot of young guys that know how to play and win. With the program I come from, I know how to go out and win. I think I'll be a good fit in their program."

Hunt recorded 60 tackles, 16 tackles-for-loss, four sacks, and one fumble recovery for a Lufkin team that climbed as high as second in the state this fall. He went on to earn first-team all-district honors.

Although he didn't get quite the recruiting attention of some of his teammates, Hunt feels he can be just as effective.

"I'm happy to be a Cyclone and ready to get after it," he said. "Hopefully I'll make a difference pretty fast up there and make people ask where I came from. I want to prove myself that first year to Cyclone fans. I got acquainted with a lot of the players during my visit and they told me I could come up there and do something. I told them my last night that I really liked it and would probably be a Cyclone. In the end, that's where I am now."

Hunt had scholarship offers from ISU, Kansas, Louisiana Tech, and Houston. He also received recruiting interest from Nebraska, Texas Tech, and Louisiana-Lafayette.

Since he took his visit during the middle of the Cyclones' bowl preparations, Hunt was able to get a feel for how practices will go in Ames.

"I liked how they run them, and it was just like our practices in high school," Hunt said. "They have 18 or 22 periods, and it looks like my position coach has put two or three defensive linemen in the league. He told me if I came in, kept doing what I've done throughout high school, and continue to get better like I've done that I have a chance of seeing the field my freshman year. Then I can become an awesome player my sophomore and junior years."

ISU will likely start Hunt out at rush end until he can build on his 240-pound frame. In future seasons he'll likely grow into a strong-side defensive end.

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