When sophomore Margus Hunt steps on to the field in Lubbock on Sunday, it will be yet another chapter in an amazing story.
In a matter of a year, Hunt will have gone from someone who had never worn shoulder pads in his life, to the SMU Mustangs starting defensive end.
"I think he is ready," said SMU defensive coordinator Tom Mason. "He played quite a bit towards the end of the season last year. It's a maturity process with him. He's going to make some mistakes, but he's such a physically gifted kid, he will overcome them."
A native of Estonia, it's hard to believe how the 6-foot-8 world renowned athlete fell into Coach Jones' lap at SMU.
Enrolled on the Hilltop since the fall of 2007, Hunt was training privately with SMU's world-renowned track & field coach Dave Wollman.
Hunt won gold medals in both the shot and the discus at the 2006 World Junior Championships in Beijing, becoming the first junior athlete ever to win a shot/discus gold medal double. To this day, he is still the current world junior record holder in the discus throw.
When Coach Jones heard about Hunt being on campus, he thought he would ask if would be interested in learning football. A year later, Hunt is the Mustangs starter going into the year.
"It's definitely kind of a new thing. I felt like I was sort of starting all over again," said Hunt to PonyStampede.com "Even though I played in the same spot last year on nickel, the same plays and everything, I didn't have any pressure on me. Now all of sudden I have to be perfect. But it's getting better. Things are coming easier to me."
As a freshman, Hunt wowed the coaching staff with his special teams abilities. He ended the year with seven blocked kicks, coming within one of the NCAA record, nearly doubling the old SMU record of four. His two blocked kicks against Rice last year is arguably what won the game for the Mustangs.
To say the least, Hunt comes up big in big situations.
"I think he's going to go out and have a really good game against these guys. It's the type of kid he is. He lives for these moments and challenges. He wants prove that he can play with the best in the country," said Mason.
"I love the challenge and the love the opportunity that we are getting to play this program," said Hunt. "We are going to go out, hustle, and try to kick their butt."