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A runaway hit

GSU grad student Hunt showing off his speed

A runaway hit

A runaway hit

Georgia Southern slotback Torrance Hu...


    When it comes to running backs, as far as Georgia Southern coach Jeff Monken is concerned, you can’t have too many.
    And the faster the better.
    The Eagles coach and his staff put a lot of time into finding and recruiting running backs who will fit the Georgia Southern triple option attack. There’s the usual:  poring over highlight tapes, letters, phone calls, school visits, home visits. Often only to come up empty-handed.
    And, then sometimes something good just falls into your lap. That appears to be the case with Torrance Hunt.
    Hunt is the newest Eagle speed burner, but he didn’t follow the traditional route to Statesboro.
    First came four years at East Carolina University where he earned a degree in Information Technology.  After a redshirt freshman year he played inside receiver, and then as a junior he led the Pirates in rushing with 489 yards before playing special teams and backup defensive back last year.
    Hunt had one year of eligibility remaining at East Carolina, but with a degree in hand and another year as a backup defender as his best job prospect he decided to look for greener pastures.
    “I didn’t know that much about Georgia Southern,” Hunt admitted, “but my father and my family had followed Georgia Southern. My father encouraged me to look here.”
    Hunt followed his father’s advice, and liked what he saw. He approached Monken about transferring. With a need for slotbacks Monken also liked what he saw. Especially Hunt’s 4.3 speed in the 40. The deal was sealed.
    Hunt is now another arrow in the sliver when the Eagles (2-0) open Southern Conference play at 7 p.m. on Saturday against Wofford at Gibbs Stadium in Spartanburg, S.C.
    The Terriers (1-1, 1-0) got their first win last Saturday by defeating The Citadel, 21-10, after getting pounded at Baylor, 69-3, in their opener.
    In order to be eligible at Georgia Southern under NCAA guidelines the 5-8, 171-pound Durham, N.C., product had to pursue a master’s degree in a field East Carolina did not offer.  He is studying Instructional Technology.
    As the new kid on the block Hunt admitted there was some apprehension in joining the Eagles. But, those concerns proved to be needless.
    “Everyone was really very welcoming,” Hunt said. “This is a great group of guys. They made me feel welcome, and it translates onto the field. We clicked really well.”
    If Hunt is getting along off the field as well as he is on it life in the Boro is pretty good.
    After two games Hunt has two touchdowns, which equals his career total with the Pirates, having scored on a 34-yard run against Savannah State, and on a 46-yard run against St. Francis, Pa. He has 152 yards on only 12 carries, and one reception for 56 yards, the longest catch by an Eagle to date.
    Hunt’s biggest asset is his speed, and he is hoping that, along with another year of playing offense on a winning team which attracts scouts from the NFL, will get him a shot at playing at the next level.
    “It was cool seeing J.J. (Wilcox) on Sunday night,” Hunt said of seeing J.J. Wilcox playing defensive back for the Dallas Cowboys.
    A year ago Wilcox was playing safety for the Eagles before being drafted in the third round.
    “I have those dreams, and I’m willing to do what I have to do,” Hunt said. “Whatever they ask of me here I’ll do it. I’ve always prided myself that wherever I go whatever the case may be no one will question my work ethic. Someone will notice hard work, and it will show up on the field.”
    One thing Hunt quickly noticed once he started working out and practicing with the Eagles is the talent level.
    “There’s a lot of guys here who could play in Conference-USA,” Hunt said. “There’s a lot of talent here, and (Jerick) McKinnon, especially, could play anywhere.”
    East Carolina assistant athletic director for media relations Tom McClelland had the same position at Georgia Southern before going to ECU, but Hunt said he never spoke with McClelland about the Eagles. He made the decision on his own.
    Hunt is one of two graduate students added by Georgia Southern. Former Lafayette College cornerback Darious Safford, who was a second-team All-Patriot League pick, joined the Eagles this summer. Lafayette does not have a graduate program.

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