During his third season with the University of Iowa, linebacker Jeremiha Hunter quietly finished second on the team in tackles.
Hunter recorded 90 tackles (35 solo, 55 assisted) to go along with five passes defended, two forced fumbles, and an interception. In a game against Michigan last season, Hunter recorded 12 tackles, an interception, and a fumble recovery.
It was the second straight year he ended the season behind fellow linebacker Pat Angerer in total tackles, which is likely why most people seemed to have overlooked Hunter the past two seasons.
Angerer's stellar play, to go along with having one of the Big Ten's easiest names to remember, helped to cast a big shadow over some of his fellow teammates.
Angerer was one of two Iowa linebackers drafted in the 2010 NFL Draft. A.J. Edds was the other. Edds picked up 77 tackles and five interceptions last season.
While under the shadows of Angerer and Edds, Hunter racked up 179 career tackles, 25 career starts, and a second-team All-Big Ten selection. He also became a three-time letterman.
Without Hunter, Iowa would not have started the 2009 season off with nine-straight victories.
He blocked a 41-yard field goal attempt by Northern Iowa to secure a narrow 17-16 nail-biting win. This play earned Hunter a Big Ten Player of the Week honor.
With Edds and Angerer both playing on Sundays this fall, the senior from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania will take over the leadership of Iowa's linebacker corps. If his spring practice evaluation is any indication, the team's second leading tackler could see even more tackling carnage in 2010.
"They've all improved, including Jeremiah, a two-year starter," head coach Kirk Ferentz told reporters of his linebackers after Iowa's spring game. "He's had his best spring, so that's good to see."
College football prognosticator Phil Steele thinks highly of Hunter, too.
Steele's 2010 Preseason All-Big Ten had picked no fewer than 10 of Iowa’s 11 projected defensive starters on his four squads. Hunter was one of Steele's second-team selections.
That's not bad, considering his Big Ten competition consists of Michigan State's Greg Jones and Ohio State's Brian Rolle and Ross Homan. Having great speed and good instincts tends to help Hunter's cause.
It might be easy for outsiders to look on and view the linebacker spot as a weakness for Iowa this year, but Hunter helps to prove it's not.
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