Feb. 1, 2012; South Bend, IN, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish head coach Brian Kelly speaks at a press conference for national signing day at the Guglielmnio Athletics Complex. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Notre Dame Football Recruiting: Hunter Signs Letter of Intent

Torii Hunter Jr. 

Wide Receiver

4-Star

Prosper, Texas

Commitment Date: 09/23/2012

High School Highlights 

Hunter is the son of current Detroit Tigers baseball player Torii Hunter. He participated in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. It was in participate when he sustained a broken femur. Hunter is currently recovering from that injury. Obviously, this will slow his ability to get on the field early at Notre Dame. But, the good news is that he did not tear a ligament or a muscle. Therefore, no permanent damage was probably done that would affect his athletic ability. Hunter burst onto the scene this summer when he played in ‘The Opening’. It was at that point that Hunter jumped in the rankings.

From the Slap the SignProspect Evaluation:

The 6’ 172 pound 4 star wide receiver is ranked 35th at his position. Hunter has great ball skills. He always catches the ball at its highest point. His technique is textbook when it comes to catching a football, because he puts his hands together into a triangle before the ball arrives. Also, I always saw him catching the ball with is hands never trapping it against his chest. He has good awareness finding the holes in the defense when the play breaks down. Hunter is fast, but will not necessarily be a burner at the college level (4.57 40 time).  Another one of his strengths would be his cutting ability. There were multiple times on film where Hunter would make a cut or juke move to make tacklers miss or have to dive at his feet. His changing direction while running routes is solid as well, this leading to creating separation from the defender finding a hole in the defense.

Size is almost always a weakness for guys coming out of high school going to play division one football in college. Putting on 15-25 pounds of muscle will help him out tremendously. His route running is average at best, because of his technique and he could make his routes cleaner and quicker using the proper technique. The main problem lies in the start of his route, coming off the ball he takes to many steps. This can lead to bad timing between quarterback and receiver, and can disrupt the entire play completely. A better start from his stance will create even more separation from the defender. Blocking is something I haven’t seen him do a lot of, and he has to improve here. The ability to block a defender is what makes a receiver an all-around great player. Improving his technique in route running, blocking, and getting bigger will all result into him being a solid player for the Fighting Irish.

Overall I do not see Hunter getting playing time for quite some time. The receiving core is very young and there are some other guys that haven’t seen the field much, are developing well like Chris Brown and Davonte’ Neal. Hunter will have an opportunity to get some limited playing time his sophomore year possibly. This will give him plenty of time to develop into the player that his potential portrays. I like the fact that Coach Kelly is going after guys like Hunter and Robinson, that are good athletes and are sons of great athletes, which raises the potential ceiling even higher.

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