Up Close: Terry Hunter

<I>IC</I> recruiting writer Andy Britt is touring the countryside to visit each and every UNC football commitment. Look for his unique two-part profiles all season long. Today -- East Wake's Terry Hunter.

WENDELL -- There are two sides to North Carolina football commitment Terry Hunter.

Most people see a friendly and respectful student-athlete who is easily approachable and beyond his years in maturity. Yet on the field, he releases the anger he has held inside since childhood.

Hunter is, however, in complete control of his two personalities.

"He doesn't put his problems on other people and make excuses," said East Wake High School coach Jimmy Williams. "He goes about doing his business and maintains as good a lifestyle as I've ever seen, considering the background."

It has been eight years now since Hunter has seen his father abuse his mother, but he will probably retain those memories all of his life. They are certainly still with him.

"To this day, I still weep over it, because that's my Mom and I love her," Hunter said. "That's really about the only situation that is on my mind at all times.

"I really don't see my Dad that much, every time that I do see him, I don't show him any hard feelings or anything. I give him the respect I should.

"I just really use football to take out all of my anger."

Hunter heads up the hard-hitting East Wake defense that wore down Wakefield Friday night, 27-14. The visiting Warriors improved to 2-0 in the fledgling 4-A Triangle Alliance Athletic Conference (TAAC), after also winning their opener over Fuquay-Varina a week before.

"Terry is the rock on that defensive front," Williams said. "In our scrimmages and our first game, he has done something -- either offensively or defensively -- that has been a big tone setter on the very first play of the game, or at least in the first series."

Former UNC and current Dallas Cowboys defensive end Greg Ellis headlines a long history of Division I players to come out of East Wake. Since Williams took over seven years ago, he has had the pleasure of coaching future Atlantic Coast Conference performers' Randy Marriott (North Carolina), Michael Harrington (Georgia Tech) and Rodney Dickerson (Duke).

Hunter's teammate, senior defensive end-tight end David Kimball (6-5, 230), is being recruited by the Tar Heels as well, along with Tennessee, NC State, Appalachian State and Virginia.

"Carolina is certainly still interested, but if they don't hurry they're going to miss the boat," Williams said. "They want to get some more senior evaluations. Nobody's offered him, but he's getting a lot of heavy interest.

"He's going to draw a lot of attention, double teams and things such as that. So if people try to gang up on Terry, then two or three other kids that are good football players are going to be free to make plays."

Warriors' defensive tackle Blake Merritt (6-3, 250) is a physical, yet mobile prospect that is also getting some interest. He is said to be leaning towards NC State.

On the offensive side of the ball, Hunter plays fullback in an offensive package geared to running between the tackles. He platoons at the position with sophomore Chris Bradshaw, a small, but speedy back. The two create nearly insurmountable match-up problems for East Wake opponents.

"We're running with Bradshaw, and then all of a sudden we change gears and bring in a big Brahma Bull fullback – very difficult to stop and very difficult to tackle. We're fullback oriented, so once they start getting used to Chris, we bring Terry in and it's whole 'nuther ball game," Williams said.

"Terry is obviously going to be a huge short yardage player for us," he added. "He's responded to that, and gotten into the best shape he's been in since he got to E. Wake. He's knows he's not coming off the field on defense."

It is unlikely Hunter will play offense in Chapel Hill, though, which is just fine with him.

"Defensive end is where they want me to play," Hunter said. "What makes me special is my ability to move with the ball. I just love chasing the ball."

Stay tuned for Part II tomorrow ...


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