Massive 2019 ATH Derick Hunter Attracting SEC Attention, Aims for Miami Offer

Tyler Donohue@@TDsTakeNational Recruiting AnalystOctober 20, 2016

Courtesy of Derick Hunter

The buzz is building around Dunbar High School (Fort Myers, Florida) sophomore Derick Hunter, who claims multiple FBS scholarship offers despite limited varsity snaps.

Standing 6'5" and 231 pounds, this versatile underclassman landed his first offer from South Florida as a freshman. Florida and Notre Dame have since entered the equation.

"I was shocked," Hunter told Bleacher Report while discussing the Fighting Irish offer that arrived earlier this month.

Hunter, who moved into starting roles on both sides of the ball this season, is labeled an athlete by Scout.com, and it's probably best not to pigeonhole him to one particular position at this point in his career. 

He currently lines up at tight end and defensive tackle, but the 16-year-old understands continued physical development may alter his collegiate outlook.

"If I end up, like, 6'7" or 6'8", my future might be at offensive tackle," Hunter said. "I'm OK with that. I just want to help the team where I can."

While a transition from 231-pound tight end to possible SEC offensive tackle won't occur overnight, he's no stranger to battling inside.

"I love to block," Hunter said. "I'm proud of the work I've done in the trenches."

Offensive tackle, tight end, defensive end and defensive tackle are each potential landing spots for this emerging Sunshine State standout. Ultimately, he believes the end result is what matter most, regardless of where he competes for snaps on a college campus.

"At the end of the day, as long as I make it out from where I'm from, it doesn't matter what position I'm playing—I made it," Hunter said.

South Florida seemingly secures an edge in familiarity, as the program has established a presence in his community and extended an offer before any other university. The staff expressed significant interest since spring practice and didn't hesitate to pull the trigger.

"It shows they love to recruit this area and there are already a lot of players from here on the team," Hunter said. "Plus, their program is really getting it done on the field right now."

The Bulls are 6-1 this season under head coach Willie Taggart but may be hard-pressed to hold off Power Five heavyweights en route to national signing day 2019.

Florida also opted to present an offer before Hunter's sophomore season, opening the door for his first concrete SEC opportunity in July:

While South Florida is enamored with Hunter's potential at tight end, the Gators view him as a defensive line prospect. He plans to return to campus Nov. 12 for the team's game against South Florida. 

"I'm trying to build a relationship with Florida coaches as fast as I can," Hunter said. "That's a school I'll definitely look at close these next couple years."

Notre Dame also appears to be in solid long-term shape here following an Oct. 5 offer. After his initial surprise about the scholarship, reality has set in for Hunter, and the Fighting Irish could be a contender deep into this recruiting cycle.

"I've thought about Notre Dame a lot since then and it's a place I'd really consider as, like, a top-five school for me in the future," he said. "The football tradition there is crazy."

Head coach Brian Kelly and his staff project Hunter at defensive tackle, providing further indication of how scouts expect him to physically mature.

Though he already holds offers from two in-state schools, another has long attracted his attention. Hunter grew up a fan of the Miami Hurricanes.

"My dad and I talk about getting that Miami offer a lot. It's a big goal for me," he said. "Hopefully that happens, but right now I'm focused on the offers I have and taking this process day by day."

Hurricanes head coach Mark Richt is navigating through his first full recruiting cycle in Coral Gables, and as he continues to sort through Florida natives, expect Hunter's name to come up as a prospect of interest moving ahead.

Meanwhile, there's growing dialogue with Richt's former program—the Georgia Bulldogs. Hunter didn't rule out attending a game in Athens, and also pointed to Michigan State as a team that's expressed substantial interest:

After missing two games with a sprained MCL this season, Hunter is again feeling healthy. He recorded five tackles and opened lanes as a run-blocker during a 41-0 win over Island Coast High School, per MaxPreps, just two days after an offer from Notre Dame took his recruitment to another level.

Tyler Donohue is a National Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. Quotes and observations obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted.

Follow Tyler via Twitter: @TDsTake.

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