Justin Hunter

Watch video for Justin Hunter

School: Tennessee Jersey #: 11
Position: WR Position Rank: 4
Height: 6'4 Weight: 196
Arm Length: 33 1/4 Hand Size: 9 3/8
Projected Round: 1-2 Grade: 7.18

*Justin Hunter  Tennessee       Exceptional combination of size, length, speed and production. He aligns (X, Z) outside the numbers. Need to continue development in escaping bump and press consistently with hand combat and a good strength program. A polished receiver with very good speed, he has a smooth stride to cover a lot of ground quickly; excellent vertical explosion and leaping ability to climb ladder and compete above the defender. Hunter boasts soft hands to catch outside frame while he contorts and adjusts midair with excellent body balance and control. Can track over shoulder to make the tough catch. Runs nice route tree, is very smooth in movement and will continue to develop at the next level with NFL coaching. A long strider with very good speed to defy angles in tight and open space, good RAC (run after catch) skills and exceptional red zone production, he uses his tall frame to shield defender from balls and employs leaping ability to make big plays. Will develop and become more comfortable at reading coverages, both pre-snap and on the move. Some teams view the left knee injury he suffered during the 2011 season as a non-issue, while others have long-term concerns. For size, he is strong in YAC (yards after contact). Hunter will need to develop more consistent blocking production.  Softli – First-round talent, early second-round pick.

 

JUSTIN SCOTT HUNTER

Wide Receiver

University of Tennessee Volunteers

#11

6:03.5-202

Virginia Beach, Virginia

Ocean Lakes High School

 

OVERVIEW

Perhaps one of the best leapers in the 2013 draft class, this world-class long jumper represented the United States at the 2010 IAFF World Junior Championships, winning that event with a leap of 25′ 10 ¾”. But, it is on the gridiron where his ability to elevate and get to the pass at its highest point led to his most successful of three seasons in a Tennessee uniform in 2012. Having hauled in 73 passes last season, the second-highest total by a Volunteer in a campaign, the junior proved to talent evaluators that he was fully recovered from a left knee ligament tear that wiped out most of his sophomore year.

 

Hunter also became only the seventh player in school history to generate 1,000 receiving yards in a season (1,083), producing the third-best campaign ever by a Volunteer. His nine touchdown grabs are tied with such standouts like Joey Kent (1995), Jermaine Copeland (1997) and Denarius Moore (2010) for seventh on Tennessee’s annual record chart.

 

While he still needs to show better consistency settling under off-target throws and learn to be more sudden when changing direction, Hunter showed that with his large hands and long limbs, he has that exception reach and receiving radius that has become “common-place” for big targets at the National Football League level. He is very hard to cover one-on-one, as his long stride and stride allows him to effortlessly glide past and get behind defenders to challenge the deep third of the secondary.

 

Hunter has brought “old timers” to liken his separation skills, ability to track the ball over his shoulder and utilizing his size to draw defensive backs in registering costly penalties (pass interference; defensive holding) to those of former New York Giants great, Amani Toomer. He is also an inviting prospect due to his versatility, as it is not uncommon to see him line up in the slot or position wide at the split end and flanker positions throughout the course of the game.

 

During his playing days at Ocean Lakes High School, the Virginia Beach, Virginia native was just as highly regarded in track and basketball as he was in football. He was rated the eighth-best receiver in the country by Rivals.com, earning a four-star prospect rating from that recruiting service, in addition to placing third on the Rivals’ Virginia Top 30 squad as a senior in 2009. Scout.com rated the prepster as the 11th-best receiver in the country, as the Under Armour All-American Game participant garnered Class AAA All-State accolades from the Virginia High School Coaches Association.

 

As a junior, Hunter caught 34 passes for 545 yards and thirteen touchdowns. He followed that performance with 46 receptions for 714 yards and nine touchdowns as a senior. During his junior campaign, the track standout captured the state title in both the long jump and high jump. As a senior in 2010, he won the state Class AAA title in the long jump, high jump and triple jump.

 

Track & Field News rated him the nation’s third-best long jumper (25-3¾), seventh-best high jumper (7’2”) and 14th-ranked triple jumper (49’5”). Hunter placed second in the 2010 state championship in the triple jump, placed ninth in 300-meter hurdles and ran a leg on Ocean Lakes’ third-place 4×100 M relay team. He also competed on the basketball team.

 

 

As a true freshman at Tennessee in 2010, Hunter started two of the thirteen games he appeared in, as he was selected to the Freshman All-Southeastern Conference team. He made sixteen catches for 415 yards (25.94 ypc), as his seven touchdowns set a school freshman season record. Even though the team failed to target him in four contests, he made the most of limited opportunities with the ball, scoring 42 points.

 

Hunter was primed for a breakout season as a sophomore. Through three games, he was pacing the Vols with seventeen receptions for 314 yards (18.47 ypc) and two touchdowns. On the Vols’ first possession in the Florida clash, he suffered a left knee anterior ligament tear and would miss the rest of the schedule after undergoing surgery.

 

After his standout junior campaign in 2012, Hunter was part of a mass exodus from the program that saw both of Tennessee’s underclass receivers, starting quarterback and top pass rusher all decide to forgo their final year of college eligibility to test the NFL waters.

Having been recruited by Derek Dooley, Hunter simply tweeted “declared” to school officials after they had dismissed their head coach.

 

CAREER NOTES

Hunter appeared in 28 games during his three-year career at Tennessee, starting seventeen contests…Hauled in 106 passes for 1,812 yards (17.09 ypc) and eighteen touchdowns, scoring 108 points as he returned four punts for 21 yards, recorded a solo tackle and blocked a kick…His 1,812 receiving yards rank eleventh on the school career-record list…Despite starting just seventeen times, his eight 100-yard receiving performances tied Tim McGee (1982-85) and Peerless Price (1995-98) for third all-time by a Volunteer, topped by only Joey Kent (15; 1993-96) and Marcus Nash (11; 1994-97)…His eighteen touchdown receptions tied Cory Fleming (1990-93) and Denarius Moore (2007-10) for fifth on the school career-record chart, surpassed by Joey Kent (25), Cedrick Wilson (24; 1997-2000), Marcus Nash (20) and Peerless Price (19).

 

2012 SEASON

Hunter was named to Pro Football Weekly’s All-American team, but managed just second-team All-Southeastern Conference recognition from the league’s coaches and Associated Press…The preseason Biletnikoff Award candidate (nation’s top receiver) had a banner junior campaign, as his clutch receiving helped the Volunteers rank second in the league and 15th in the nation with an aerial attack that averaged 315.58 yards per game…Lined up mostly at split end, but played all the receiving positions throughout a game, typically, finishing by leading the team and ranking third in the SEC while placing 22nd in the nation with an average of 90.25 receiving yards per game…Paced the Volunteers with a career-high 73 receptions for 1,083 yards (14.84 ypc) and nine touchdowns…The only player in school history to catch more passes in a season is Marcus Nash (76 in 1997), as Hunter matched Lucas Taylor (73 in 2007) for the second spot on the Vols’ annual list…Robert Meachem (71 in 2006) is the only other Tennessee player to reach 70 receptions for a season…The seventh player in school history to gain over 1,000 receiving yards in a campaign, his 1,083 yards rank third on the school annual record chart, surpassed by Robert Meachem (1,298 in 2006) and Marcus Nash (1,170 in 1997)…His nine touchdown grabs tied Da’Rick Rogers (2011), Denarius Moore (2010), Jermaine Copeland (1997) and Joey Kent (1995) for seventh on the Tennessee season-record list…His four games with at least 100 yards receiving also tied for seventh on the UT annual record book…Hunter played in his first game since September 17th, 2011 and opened the year with nine catches for 73 yards vs. North Carolina State…Posted eight receptions for 146 yards and three touchdowns vs. Georgia State, as his three scoring grabs tied the school game-record held by seven other players – first, by Jim Powell at Mississippi in 1946 and most recently by Chris Hannon, vs. Mississippi State in 2003…Hunter also tied the UT record for most catches in the first two games of a season, tying Johnny Mills in 1966, with seventeen…

The receiver had four more games with at least eight receptions, pulling in eight balls for 115 yards and a score vs. Akron and eight more for 90 yards at South Carolina…In back-to-back late season games, he snared nine passes for a career-high 181 yards and three touchdowns vs. Troy. Including his scoring performance earlier in the schedule vs. Georgia State, Hunter joined Donte’ Stallworth as the only Volunteers to record three catches in a game twice in a season (also twice in a career), as Stallworth pulled off that feat in 2001 vs. Kentucky and Memphis…The next game, Hunter had another touchdown catch among his nine grabs for 141 yards vs. Missouri.

 

2011 SEASON

A preseason All-American, All-Southeastern Conference and Biletnikoff Award candidate, Hunter was having a great start to the season through three games, but a left knee anterior cruciate tear in the fourth contest, vs. Florida, would require surgery to repair, thus ending his sophomore season…He was leading the Vols with seventeen receptions for 314 yards (18.47 ypc) and two touchdowns, as he also blocked a kick vs. Cincinnati…The offense struggled without having their best receiver available…Despite sitting out the final nine contests, he still finished fifth on the team in pass catches…His average of 104.67 yards receiving per game was the best mark for any SEC performer in 2011…He tallied 145 yards with an 81-yard touchdown on six catches vs. Montana in the season opener, as his scoring grab was the ninth-longest reception in school history…In addition to blocking a kick, Hunter managed a career-high ten catches for 156 yards and another score in a 45-23 defeat of Cincinnati, as he joined Da’Rick Rogers to become the first-ever Tennessee tandem to both catch at least ten passes in the same game. The ten catches by that duo were the most by a Volunteer in a game since Kelley Washington snared eleven balls vs. Louisiana State in 2001. Hunter would also establish another UT record, as his 302 yards combined are the most by a Tennessee player in the first two games of a season.

 

2010 SEASON

The Freshman All-Southeastern Conference selection by the league’s coaches, Hunter appeared in all thirteen games, starting twice at split end…Caught sixteen passes for 415 yards (25.94 ypc), as his seven touchdowns not only were the most for any freshman receiver in 2010, but also established a school season-record for first-year performers…

Four of his scoring grabs were for 30 yards or longer…In his first career start, he did not have any catches vs. Alabama, but in his second start, he hauled in three receptions for a season-high 114 yards to complement his first multi-touchdown game vs. Mississippi, including a season-long catch of 80 yards on the Vols’ first offensive play…His other 100-yard day came via four catches for 110 yards and a score vs. Georgia…His seventh touch-down for the year put the Vols ahead, 20-17, in the fourth quarter vs. North Carolina in the Music City Bowl.

 

INJURY REPORT

2011 Season…Hunter suffered a left knee anterior cruciate ligament tear vs. Florida (9/18) that forced him to miss the Vols’ final nine contests after undergoing surgery. The receiver was hurt on Tennessee’s first passing play vs. the Gators. He landed awkwardly on his left knee while making a 12-yard reception, dropped to the ground and rolled around in pain. He walked off the field, but ended up in the locker room.

 

AGILITY TESTS

4.40 in the 40-yard dash…1.49 10-yard dash…2.50 20-yard dash…4.07 20-yard shuttle…

11.20 60-yard shuttle…6.85 three-cone drill…39 1/2-inch vertical jump…10’7” broad jump…Bench pressed 225 pounds 14 times…33 1/8-inch arm length…9 7/8-inch hands… 78 ¼-inch wingspan.

 

HIGH SCHOOL

Hunter was a three-sport standout at Ocean Lakes (Virginia Beach, Va.) High School, where he played football for head coach Chris Scott…Rated the eighth-best receiver in the country by Rivals.com, earning a four-star prospect rating from that recruiting service, in addition to placing third on the Rivals’ Virginia Top 30 squad as a senior in 2009… Scout.com rated the prepster as the 11th-best receiver in the country, as the Under Armour All-American Game participant garnered Class AAA All-State accolades from the Virginia High School Coaches Association…As a junior, Hunter caught 34 passes for 545 yards and thirteen touchdowns…Followed that performance with 46 receptions for 714 yards and nine touchdowns as a senior…During his junior campaign, the track-&-field standout captured the state title in both the long jump and high jump…As a senior in 2010, he won the state Class AAA title in the long jump, high jump and triple jump…Track & Field News rated him the nation’s third-best long jumper (25-3¾), seventh-best high jumper (7’2”) and 14th-ranked triple jumper (49’5”)…Placed second in the 2010 state championship in the triple jump, placed ninth in 300-meter hurdles and ran a leg on Ocean Lakes’ third-place 4×100 M relay team…Also competed on the basketball team.

 

PERSONAL

Arts & Sciences major…Son of Gloria Hunter and Michael Clark…Born Justin Scott Hunter on 5/20/91 in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

 

PLAYER STATISTICS

RECEIVING STATISTICS…R/PG indicates receptions per game…GM/AVG indicates average yards gained per game.
STATS GP GS NO YARDS AVG TD LONG R/PG GM/AVG
2010 13 02   16    0415 25.94  07    80  1.23    031.92
2011 03 03   17    0314 18.47 02    81  5.67    104.67
2012 12 12   73    1083 14.84  09    46  6.08    090.25
TOTAL 28 17 106    1812 17.09  18    81  3.79    050.74

 

PUNT RETURNS DEFENSIVE STATISTICS
STATS NO YARDS AVG TD LONG TK SO AS FR BK
2010  02        16 08.00  00    12  00  00  00  00  00
2011  00        00 00.00  00    00  00  00  00  00  01
2012  02        05 02.50  00    09  01  01  00  00  00
TOTAL  04        21 05.25  00    12  01  01  00  00  01

 

HUNTER GAME BY GAME LOG

2012 Season

Date

Opponent

Score

Played

Receiving

Punt Ret.

Pts

Tackles

BK

No

Yds

TD

No

Yds

TD

TTL
TDs

Ast

Solo

Asst
Loss

Solo
Loss

Loss
Yds

North Carolina St. 08/31/12 NCSU 35-21

Yes

9

73

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Georgia St. 09/08/12 Georgia St. 51-13

Yes

8

146

3

0

0

0

3

18

0

0

0

0

0

0

Florida 09/15/12 Florida 20-37

Yes

5

76

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

Akron 09/22/12 Akron 47-26

Yes

8

115

1

0

0

0

1

6

0

0

0

0

0

0

Georgia 09/29/12 at Georgia 44-51

Yes

3

46

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Mississippi St. 10/13/12 at MSU 31-41

Yes

2

41

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Alabama 10/20/12 Alabama 13-44

Yes

4

70

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

South Carolina 10/27/12 at South Carolina 35-38

Yes

8

90

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Troy 11/03/12 Troy 55-48

Yes

9

181

3

2

5

0

3

18

0

0

0

0

0

0

Missouri 11/10/12 Missouri 48-51

Yes

9

141

1

0

0

0

1

6

0

0

0

0

0

0

Vanderbilt 11/17/12 at Vanderbilt 18-41

Yes

5

39

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Kentucky 11/24/12 Kentucky 37-17

Yes

3

65

1

0

0

0

1

6

0

0

0

0

0

0

Season Totals

73

1083

9

2

5

0

9

54

0

1

0

0

0

0

 

2011 Season

Date

Opponent

Score

Played

Receiving

Punt Ret.

Pts

Tackles

BK

No

Yds

TD

No

Yds

TD

TTL
TDs

Ast

Solo

Asst
Loss

Solo
Loss

Loss
Yds

Montana 09/03/11 Montana 42-16

Yes

6

146

1

0

0

0

1

6

0

0

0

0

0

0

Cincinnati 09/10/11 Cincinnati 45-23

Yes

10

156

1

0

0

0

1

6

0

0

0

0

0

1

Florida 09/17/11 at Florida 23-33

Yes

1

12

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Buffalo 10/01/11 Buffalo 41-10

No

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Georgia 10/08/11 Georgia 12-20

No

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

LSU 10/15/11 LSU 7-38

No

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Alabama 10/22/11 at Alabama 6-37

No

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

South Carolina 10/29/11 South Carolina 3-14

No

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Middle Tenn. 11/05/11 Middle Tenn. 24-0

No

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Arkansas 11/12/11 at Arkansas 7-49

No

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Vanderbilt 11/19/11 Vanderbilt 27-21

No

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Kentucky 11/26/11 at Kentucky 7-10

No

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Season Totals

17

314

2

0

0

0

2

12

0

0

0

0

0

1

 

2010 Season

Date

Opponent

Score

Played

Receiving

Punt Ret.

Pts

Tackles

BK

No

Yds

TD

No

Yds

TD

TTL
TDs

Ast

Solo

Asst
Loss

Solo
Loss

Loss
Yds

Tenn.-Martin 09/04/10 Tenn.-Martin 50-0

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Oregon 09/11/10 Oregon 13-48

Yes

1

31

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Florida 09/18/10 Florida 17-31

Yes

3

60

1

0

0

0

1

6

0

0

0

0

0

0

UAB 09/25/10 UAB 32-29

Yes

1

-2

0

2

16

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

LSU 10/02/10 at LSU 14-16

Yes

1

37

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Georgia 10/09/10 at Georgia 14-41

Yes

4

110

1

0

0

0

1

6

0

0

0

0

0

0

Alabama 10/23/10 Alabama 10-41

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

South Carolina 10/30/10 at South Carolina 24-38

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Memphis 11/06/10 at Memphis 50-14

Yes

1

42

1

0

0

0

1

6

0

0

0

0

0

0

Mississippi 11/13/10 Mississippi 52-14

Yes

3

114

2

0

0

0

2

12

0

0

0

0

0

0

Vanderbilt 11/20/10 at Vanderbilt 24-10

Yes

1

15

1

0

0

0

1

6

0

0

0

0

0

0

Kentucky 11/27/10 Kentucky 24-14

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

North Carolina 12/30/10 North Carolina 27-30

Yes

1

8

1

0

0

0

1

6

0

0

0

0

0

0

Season Totals

16

415

7

2

16

0

7

42

0

0

0

0

0

0

 

Data provided by Dave-Te Thomas, Publisher of The NFL Draft Reports for TonySoftli.com; Tony Softli Draft Board