2010 Intro: Fre'Shad Hunter

CARY, N.C. --- After a respectable sophomore season, Fre'Shad Hunter transformed into a game-changing defender. Much of the credit goes to the move from linebacker to defensive end.

"I exploded my first year at D-end," Hunter said. "At linebacker when I lined up and played, there's a lot more thinking. When you line up at defensive end, it's just you and that man going every play seeing who's the bigger man. Getting to the quarterback, that's what I like to do."

Hunter, a 6-foot-3, 250-pounder, began his prep career as a linebacker. During Cary High's 2006 playoff run, Hunter, then a freshman, was moved up to the varsity squad. The following season, he not only remained on varsity, he became a starting linebacker. He ended the year with 89 tackles, including 12 for a loss.

Junior Highlights:

The following summer, Hunter beefed up and was moved to defensive end.

"He's got the long arms and the strength [for the defensive line]," Cary head football coach Ben Kolstad said. "It was just a logical transition for him."

Hunter's junior season stats (38 tackles, six sacks, and eight tackles for a loss) don't speak to the impact he had on defense last fall.

"Teams ran away from him," Kolstad said. "He was that big of a presence."

When making the move to the collegiate level, Hunter is likely to face another position change.

"The coaches I've talked to told me because of my body frame, I'm a five- and a seven-technique right now, but I can grow into a three-technique," Hunter said.

"The thing about Fre'Shad that makes him so unique is he could probably put another 50, 60 pounds on and be very athletic still," Kolstad said. "So he could move to a defensive tackle position.

"Coaches look at him and say ‘Man he could be a D-tackle. A lot of people are thinking a three-technique."

Kolstad agrees that Hunter's future is on the interior of the defensive line.

"Defensive tackle somewhere whether it's a shade or a three-technique, I think he could excel at that position just because of his strength," Kolstad said. "He's really getting in the weight room right now, so his strength is really exploding."

Hunter, though, is still making his way onto the recruiting radar.

"He's an unknown," Kolstad said. "NC State sent me a film [request] and during the season, just by chance, they threw his video in and loved it. Now word is getting out on him. It seems like any time I send a film out teams really love what they see.

"To be honest, I'm getting interest as we speak – it's really coming in. Everybody that I've talked to likes what they see, it's just a matter of they're checking because he's such an unknown right now."

NC State is the only school to extend Hunter a scholarship offer. Several schools, however, appear poised to join the Wolfpack.

"East Carolina was telling me the offer is coming soon," Hunter said. "Wake Forest and Virginia are talking about offering, too."

Additionally, Hunter is fielding strong interest from Alabama, Clemson, Duke, and North Carolina.

John Shoop, UNC's area recruiter, has visited Cary High to check out Hunter.

"I showed [Shoop] a little bit of film," Kolstad said. "He says he's a big, athletic kid and it's always good to have guys like that on your team."

Hunter isn't sure when he'll make a verbal commitment. However, he believes it will come sometime after his senior football season. He plans to take at least some of his official visits before making a decision.

"Right now, NC State is one of my favorite colleges, because I've been an NC State fan my whole life," Hunter said.

"A lot of SEC schools I'm really interested in learning more about – Alabama and Auburn. I'd like to visit those schools and Wake Forest at some point."

Hunter has attended junior days at East Carolina and NC State. He plans to be on hand for an upcoming junior day at UNC.

This summer, Hunter is looking to camp at Alabama, East Carolina, NC State, and Wake Forest.

Fre'Shad Hunter Profile

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