Andre Hunt: Embracing Change

Andre Hunt has seen his life change a lot in less than a year. He went from starring at Leuzinger where he helped guide them to the semifinals in 2016 for the first time in a while. However, he and his brother, Antonio, were checked into Paraclete before the 2017 season. Boy was that a good situation for Hunt as he joined a Spirits squad fresh off a CIF championship. The icing on the cake was getting a chance to play with another special talent at quarterback in Brevin White. This was after having a special year with Kaymen Cureton at Leuzinger.

Hunt was even committed to USC as he once had every intention to stay local. Now, he finds himself traveling to the Midwest to play for the Nebraska Cornhuskers.

“Nebraska just felt like an opportunity that I couldn’t pass up. It’s a great atmosphere, great coaching staff, and has great players. Everything I need to succeed is there. I realize this was the right school when the AD [athletic director] came to talk to the whole group,” said the 6’1 wideout.

Through all the changes, Hunt has found a way to adapt.

The three-star athlete was a two-way player as he excelled out wide as a receiver and was serviceable in coverage as a defensive back. His calling card is at receiver as he has tremendous speed, good hands, exceptional route running ability, and is explosive. For the Spirits, Hunt finished with 67 catches, 1,185 yards, and 18 touchdowns. His explosion showed against Moorpark and Sierra Canyon as he had three touchdowns each in both contests.

The Spirits did not stop there this season as they were on a mission to succeed as back-to-back champions. Hunt joined them on their journey as he was focused on ending his high school career on a high note. He was able to successfully check that goal off of his bucket list as Paraclete beat Moorpark to win another CIF title. Hunt refers to that night as the best moment in high school as he had three touchdowns to go along with an interception.

Life has not always been easy for the speedy receiver. It took a lot of courage to realize Southern Cal might not be the best decision for him in terms of playing at the collegiate level. The decision to de-commit was one he did not take lightly as he conferred with his family on the matter. Family has always been a bit of a sore spot for him as he opened up about his inner circle.

Hunt stated, “My mom and dad never had the best relationship when I was growing up. They always stuck together [though] and I think that helped me really feel the presence of family throughout my football career.”

Every family has their ups and downs and Hunt understands that. He did not try to make the biggest decision of his life on his own. That is how he came to the decision to de-commit from USC and, after a couple months of deliberating, decided to commit to Nebraska.

Hunt has been in close contact with the Nebraska coaching staff as they are asking him to come in and be ready to make plays. He has talked with a few players as well and they have said the same. He understands the need for playmakers out wide for the Cornhuskers, so he is working hard this offseason.

The former Spirit has been focused on gaining weight, which is to be expected when a player is transitioning from high school to college. Meanwhile, he has been focusing on another aspect that has a lot to do with being a student-athlete in college: time management. Hunt understands the importance of balancing a busy schedule and he is looking into ways of doing so efficiently.

Nebraska is coming off a 4-8 season that prompted the school officials to fire Mike Riley and hire a young coach in Scott Frost. Frost was a positions coach at Oregon before taking over as the offensive coordinator and from there he landed his first coaching stint at UCF in 2017. He went undefeated as the Knights coach before he signed with his alma mater in December. Now, he hopes to restore a winning tradition. He won two national championships as a player in 1995 and was a major factor in helping win it all in 1997. He was a dual-threat quarterback that eclipsed 1,000 passing and rushing yards in 1997.

Nebraska used to torment the college landscape from 1990 to the early 2000s as they won three national championships during that span under Tom Osborne. They had respectable seasons under Bo Pelini but were never a national title contender.

Hunt has done his research and understands the history that runs through the hallways, locker room, stadium, and are embedded on the gridiron. He wants to bring back the Huskers’ winning tradition and give the people of Nebraska a team worth instilling pride in. Therefore, he has been working hard this offseason and has set some goals for his freshman campaign.

“My goals are to start off strong in the classroom, first off, then to become a freshman All-American and also, as a team, win championships every year I’m there,” the three-star receiver remarked.

Although Hunt is ready for Nebraska, he left with a bit of a melancholic feeling. He feels this way because he left his family and friends behind while he lives out his dream as a college athlete. He understood it would be a tough decision, but he recognizes it would be hard not to feel some type of way. Perhaps the hardest thing will be not seeing his brother Antonio on the gridiron with him for the first time during his football career.

Hunt is no stranger to change. He never let it get the best of him when changing high schools and it certainly did not faze him when it was time to commit to Nebraska. Now, he faces a different level of change. One that could set him up for other opportunities in life on and off the field. One thing is for sure and that is Hunt will adapt.

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