Mind on the Prize

West Monroe went 15-0 last season and captured the 5A state championship. The Rebels return several top players, including Paul Turner, Tyler Cain, and defensive tackle Chuck Hunter. Scout.com talked with Hunter today about the upcoming season, his recruitment, and more.

After his team went 15-0 in 2009 and won the 5A state championship in convincing fashion, it would be understandable if West Monroe defensive tackle Chuck Hunter wanted to rest on his laurels. After all, Hunter already has six scholarship offers. What more does he need to prove?

"I don't even wear my championship ring," said Hunter. "It sits on my dresser. I'm hungry for another state championship. The former players, the seniors that graduated from last year's team, say that we won't win state again."

Hunter, having shed 17 pounds, is working hard on the conditioning aspect of his game.

"I'm going to stay lean for the season," Hunter said. "Right now, I'm at 273 pounds, but my coach told me that he doesn't want me at less than 280 pounds when the season starts. I've been up to 290 pounds in the past. We're going to be moving to a 3-4 defense and I'll be at defensive end.

"I actually played defensive end for some of the playoffs last year. I'll move to defensive tackle or nose tackle in some packages. Whatever it takes to help the team."

Hunter, who currently has six scholarship offers, expects to receive more in the next few months.

"Some schools are waiting for me to take the ACT and get my score in," he said. "I'm taking that on Saturday. I have offers from TCU, Louisiana Tech, Mississippi, Mississippi State, Baylor, and Memphis. TCU is a nice school and I think that I could play early there. Louisiana Tech is pretty much the same thing. It may be too close to home though. I like the coaches at Mississippi State. Ole Miss has a nice campus and it's a pretty place. My cousin's brother, Brandon Bolden, plays running back for Ole Miss. I wouldn't mind going to Baylor, and I haven't heard from Memphis in awhile.

"I'm hearing from some other schools, such as LSU, Alabama, Nebraska, Tennessee, and Clemson. I think that I'll get offered by some of those schools when I get my ACT score. I'm a fan of the SEC, but I'm really looking for a school where I can come in and play as a freshman."

Hunter has a full itinerary on tap for this summer.

"I've been trying to chill and just get my workouts in for the first part of the summer," he said, "because I know that I'm going to be moving around the rest of the time. I'm going to Mississippi State's camp with Tyler Cain, Paul Turner, and Michael Hunter - and then I'm going to Auburn with my cousin.

"On July 16th, I'm going to TCU and then I plan on going to camps at LSU, Louisiana-Lafayette, Memphis, and Louisiana Tech. I'm also flying to Clemson in July."

Does Hunter plan to commit early?

"I'll probably wait and announce on my mom's birthday in January," he said. "I think that Tyler (Cain) and Paul (Turner) may have their minds made up before the season starts. Paul is a good athlete and a nice guy. Tyler is always working hard to get better. He trains with me at Competitive Edge Sports."

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