Hunter came close

For his first college visit, Virginia's Justin Hunter trekked across the southeast this past weekend to visit the LSU campus. 1,100 miles later, Hunter realized what he thought going into the visit and that was the Tigers were very much in the lead for his services.

With offers from Alabama, Florida, LSU, Tennessee and many others, it goes without saying that the Virginia Beach native is among the most coveted wide receiver prospects in the 2010 class.


With a 12-1 finish and season-ending loss to Oscar Smith in the Group AAA state quarterfinals, Hunter helped lead Ocean Lakes to its best season in school history in 2008. He grabbed 34 passes for 536 yards and 10 touchdowns which put him on the map for colleges all across the southeast including LSU.


With a 6-10 high jump in his repertoire, the Tiger track team has the attention of the 6-foot-4, 180-pound prospect as well.


With two athletic programs pulling him to Baton Rouge, Hunter packed up his bags, grabbed his coach and headed off for a three-day stay down on the bayou.


“We got in town Friday night and just laid low,” Hunter said. “The next day we did football and track stuff, so it was good getting to see everything together. I got a good feel for how things would play out with me at LSU, and I really liked what I saw.”


From the indoor facility to Tiger Stadium, Hunter said that the football team left a big impression on both he and his coach.


“Everything was really great, and it seemed like they were top-notch with everything they did,” Hunter explained. “We hung with the players some and had some really nice conversations with the coaches, so I would say it was a great environment.”


Wide receivers coach D.J. McCarthy, who is recruiting Hunter, along with Terrance Toliver and Brandon LaFell played host to the 3-star prospect over the weekend.


“Coach Mac has been telling me that LSU really needs me, and the spot is open if I want it,” Hunter said. “He said that they have some guys that will be graduating over the next two years, so I can come in and play, and I like that.”


Making his way to the track and field stadium, Hunter said that the transition from sport to sport, even on a visit, seemed smooth.


“We just walked out of the football offices and across the street to the track field,” he said. “It already felt like home to me, and I told my coach that I liked how it was all setting up.


“We talked with the track coaches for a while, and they showed me their record boards and I was really impressed. I am looking at track schools with a history of winning, and LSU has that.”


As for how he graded the trip, Hunter said that the visit left him very close to pulling the trigger.


“It was about a nine, because I loved everything,” he said. “It was so good that I almost committed, but I remembered that I needed to be calm and talk to my mom first. Still, LSU is definitely in the lead.”

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