MARGUS HUNT

Defensive End

Southern Methodist University Mustangs

#92

6:08.2-277

Karksi-Nuia, Estonia

 

OVERVIEW

The 2013 NFL Draft will take on an “international flavor” among prospective defensive linemen that could hear their names called in late April. The game of football has become increasingly popular world-wide and many talent evaluators feel that the National Football League will introduce three high quality foreign exchange students to their brand of American football next season.

 

All three of these prospects have excelled in other sports before they embraced the game of football. Hunt, an import from Estonia is a former world junior record holder in the discus throw and has competed internationally in the shot and hammer throw, in addition to trying his hand in the decathlon.

 

Two other worthy early round draft prospects that reside on the defensive line is Brigham Young’s Ezekiel Ansah, a defensive end who blossomed for the Cougars in 2012. Previously, the Ghana native played soccer and basketball in his homeland. He arrived in the United States and after twice failing to make the BYU basketball team, he lettered in track as a sprinter for the Cougars before joining the gridiron team in 2010.

 

Jesse Williams of Alabama is legendary for his outstanding strength, once bench pressing 600 pounds a dozen times to “impress” his teammates during a recent workout. He was a junior college transfer that joined the Crimson Tide, playing both defensive end and nose guard. Back home in Australia, he was one of the country’s better rugby stars.

 

While all three greatly impressed NFL teams with their performances this season, along with how quick they have developed, Hunt might be that one rare athlete who has yet to tap into his vast potential. The Mustangs standout has the most major college experience of this trio, showing outstanding explosion and great balance attacking the backfield, but there is a whole lot more to his “game” that intrigues professional teams.

 

Hunt started for the Mustangs as a sophomore and senior, with the 2012 season being his breakout campaign. He not only led Southern Methodist with eight sacks, he recorded twelve of his 31 tackles behind the line of scrimmage. His ability to escape blockers and flush the quarterback out of the pocket saw five of his eleven quarterback pressures result in opponents throwing interceptions on those plays.

 

But, standing over 6:08, with an 82 ¼-inch wing-span, boasting a 34 ½-inch vertical jump and a 10’1” broad jump, the SMU product utilized those impressive athletic skills to become one of the greatest kick blockers in the collegiate game, blocking seventeen attempts, including seven during his first season wearing a football uniform.

 

Hunt was born in Karksi-Nuia, Estonia in 1987, where he grew into a multi-sport athlete who competed in track as a weight man before deciding to come to the United States to play college football. He grew up in a small town and took up athletics because “there wasn’t much to do”. After trying to compete in the decathlon, he decided to concentrate on the throwing events – discus, shot and hammer throw.

 

Hunt started training with Aleksander Tammert, an Olympic bronze medalist in the discus throw from the 2004 Summer Olympics. The future SMU player competed in the hammer throw at the 2003 World Youth Championships and discus at the 2004 World Junior Championships, placing eighth and sixth respectively.

 

In 2005 Hunt won his first title at the European Junior Championships in Kaunas, throwing 62.19 meters (204’ 0 27/64”) with the 1.75 kg discus. In 2006 at the World Junior Champion-ships in Beijing, Hunt set a new world junior record of 66.35 meters (217’ 8 13/64”)in his first throw on the qualifying round. At the final competition Hunt improved his own world junior record to 66.68 m (218’ 9 13/64”) in the fourth round and then 67.32 m (220’ 10 25/64”) in the sixth and final round. His gold medal was the first World Junior gold medal for Estonia.

 

Three days later he won the gold medal in the shot put by 20.53 meters (67’ 4 17/64”) in the final, beating the closest competitor Mostafa Abdul El-Moaty by 39 centimeters. Hunt became the first athlete to win the gold medal both in shot and discus at the World Junior Championships, outperforming Rutger Smith of the Netherlands who won a gold and a bronze in 2000. His winning distance of 20.53 m was a national junior record with the 6 kg shot.

 

His personal best hammer throw result is 212’ 10 23/64” made on March 28th, 2008 in Arlington, Texas. His personal best shot put result is 58’ 11 7/8” in Waco later in March, 2008. His personal best with the senior 2 kg discus is 61.33 meters (201’ 2 9/16”) made in Viljandi in July, 2010.

 

Hunt left Estonia for Dallas in 2007, in order to train with Southern Methodist University track and field coach Dave Wollman, While at the school, he began attending classes part-time. However, by the time he arrived at SMU, it had dropped its men’s track program.

 

Hunt wanted to keep working with Wollman, who had previously worked with another Estonian discus thrower (2004 Olympic bronze Aleksander Tammert), and the latter decided that Hunt’s size and athleticism could earn him a football scholarship at the school.

 

When Hunt tried out for football, his physical power, combined with a 4.7-second 40-yard dash, led head football coach June Jones to give him a scholarship, and he began attending classes at the university full-time in 2009.

 

Still a neophyte to the game of football during the 2009 gridiron season, he played in all thirteen games as a reserve at left defensive end. The converted track star managed just eight tackles, but he posted 2.5 sacks and recovered a fumble. Hunt entered the school and Conference USA season-record charts when he blocked seven kicks, including four field goals and three extra point attempts.

 

Hunt started thirteen games at right defensive end in 2010. The All-Conference USA honor-able mention registered a career-high 45 tackles, adding three sacks and 6.5 stops-for-loss as a sophomore. He also continued to excel on special teams, blocking two long field goals and a PAT for the season.

 

The coaches decided to use Hunt as the defensive line’s “fifth man,” as he only started twice, but played multiple positions on the front wall in each of the Mustangs’ thirteen contests. He managed just 28 tackles (16 solos), with 7.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage that included three sacks. As a kick blocker, he batted down four total – two field goals and two extra point tries.

 

Hunt’s breakout season came in 2012, as he was named All-Conference first-team and selected the MVP of the Hawaii Bowl. He started twelve contests at right end, producing 31 tackles while ranking sixth in the league with a team-best eight sacks, finishing second on the squad with 11.5 stops-for-loss. He also posted eleven pressures and again starred on special teams, where he blocked two field goals and a PAT.

 

Invited to play in the 2013 Senior Bowl, Hunt really opened eyes of the scouts and coaches in attendance. Athletically, they saw a player who has a strong, well-defined and muscular frame and is an amazing physical specimen with a long wingspan (82 ¼-inches), thick calves and cat-like quickness. He showed that he is an explosive and fluid athlete in pursuit, demonstrating the range to generate long distance chases. He has that sudden burst off the edge to slip past a slower offensive tackle, but is still learning how to be more active with his hands fending off low blocks.

 

Despite standing 6:08.2, Hunt plays with leverage, doing a nice job of dropping his shoulder and turning the corner on the pass rush, as he is very light on his feet. He has fluid change of direction agility and shows good second effort getting back to the action when he out-runs the ball. In one-on-one battles, he utilizes his above average playing strength for his position, possessing excellent leg drive and strong rip-&-swim moves in one-on-one combat.

 

Hunt has developed into a physical run defender, one that has the explosive initial step to defeat combo blocks (1.61-second 10-yard dash) when he uses his hands to fend them off and is a disruptive penetrator who does a fine job of riding blocks and moving laterally. He gets up in a hurry when knocked down and has that high motor needed to be relentless in pursuit, especially on the back side. He is also very capable when trying to sink and run the horn to flush the quarterback out of the pocket, as he will usually stay active until the whistle.

 

With his long arms and powerful hand swipes, Hunt knows how to separate and handle counter moves to prevent blockers from attacking his chest and locking on to his jersey. When he keeps his hands inside the frame, he can deliver a solid hand slap, coupled with a fluid swim move to shed and close on the passer. Even when attacked by multiple blockers, he has a strong enough anchor to neutralize double teams, and is able to stack and hold his ground when he drops his weight and plants his foot into the ground.

 

CAREER NOTES

Hunt appeared in 53 games for Southern Methodist, starting 27 contests at right defensive end…Recorded 112 tackles (60 solos) with 16.5 sacks for minus 121 yards, 28.0 stops for losses of 181 yards and thirteen quarterback pressures…Deflected six passes and picked off another for a 9-yard return…Recovered one fumble and caused two others…Closed out his career as a record-setting kick blocker, with seventeen total, including ten field goals and seven extra point attempts…His seventeen total blocks shattered the previous Mustangs all-time record of eight by Chad Patton (four PATs, two field goals, two punts; 1990-93)…The only player with more total blocked kicks in a career is James Ferebee of New Mexico State (nineteen – six PATs, eight field goals; 1978-81)…Hunt’s ten blocked field goals topped the previous NCAA all-time record of eight that was set by Ferebee…

Hunt’s seven blocked extra point attempts is one shy of the NCAA mark of eight, held by Ray Farmer of Duke (1992-95).

 

2012 SEASON

Hunt was named to The NFL Draft Report’s All-American first-team special teams unit…

The first-team All-Conference USA selection was also named the MVP of the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl and participated in the 2013 Senior Bowl…Started twelve games at right defensive end, recording 31 tackles (19 solos), as he led the team and placed sixth in the league with eight sacks for minus 56 yards…Credited with eleven quarterback pressures and placed second on the squad with 11.5 stops for losses totaling 79 yards…Caused two fumbles, deflected two passes and had a 9-yard interception return…Also blocked three kicks – two field goals and one PAT…Helped a unit that led the conference and ranked 15th in the nation in run defense (117.92 ypg)…Was also part of an SMU defense that posted two shutouts – the first time that has happened at Southern Methodist since 1983…The senior blocked a 35-yard field goal vs. Stephen F. Austin and blocked an extra point while adding a 7-yard sack and three hits vs. Texas A&M…Totaled six tackles that included a 7-yard sack, two stops for minus 13 yards and a pressure vs. Texas Christian…Posted a 4-yard sack vs. Tulane and blocked a 28-yard field goal try vs. Texas-El Paso…Exploded for a pair of sacks for losses of 19 yards, as he came up with four tackles and four pressures vs. Houston…Had a 7-yard sack and a 9-yard interception return vs. Southern Mississippi and closed out his career with two sacks and three stops for minus 22 yards, adding three pressures while causing two fumbles that SMU converted into field goals during a 43-10 rout of Fresno State in the Hawaii Bowl.

 

2011 SEASON

Hunt was named All-Conference USA honorable mention…Started vs. Texas Christian and Rice, as he recorded 28 tackles (16 solos) with three sacks for minus 27 yards and 7.5 stops for losses of 53 yards through thirteen games…Deflected a pass and blocked four kicks – two field goals and two PATs…Opened the season by blocking a pair of extra points vs. Texas A&M…Blocked a 28-yard field goal at the end of the first half vs. Texas-el Paso and had a stop for a 14-yard loss while also blocking a 24-yard field goal try vs. Northwestern State…Was a dominant force in the BBVA Compass Bowl win, notching three sacks for minus 27 yards and five total tackles vs. Pittsburgh.

 

2010 SEASON

Hunt started thirteen games at right defensive end and was named All-Conference USA honorable mention…Recorded a career-high 45 tackles (21 solos) with three sacks for minus 21 yards, 6.5 stops for losses of 32 yards and a pressure…Deflected two passes and blocked three kicks…Registered a 3-yard sack and pass deflection vs. Alabama-Birmingham and notched three tackles with an 11-yard sack at Rice…Blocked field goals at Texas Tech (51 yards) and Tulsa (45 yards)…Posted five tackles and two stops behind the line of scrimmage at Navy…Tallied half sacks vs. Marshall and East Carolina (also had six tackles, a pressure and an assisted sack vs. ECU)…Collected seven tackles and a stop for a loss in the season finale vs. Central Florida…Blocked a PAT in the Armed Forces Bowl vs. Army.

 

2009 SEASON

Hunt made a tremendous debut as a football player…While he played in all thirteen games as a reserve left defensive end, he set school and Conference USA season-records with seven blocked kicks, one shy of the NCAA annual record of eight that was first set by Jimmy Lisko of Arkansas State in 1975 (four PATs, three punts, one FG) and followed by  James Francis of Baylor in 1989 (four PATs, three punts, one FG) and James King of Central Michigan in 2001 (seven punts, one FG)…His seven blocks shattered the old SMU record of four by Chad Patton in 1992 (one FG, two PATs, one punt)…Also registered eight tackles (4 solos) that included 2.5 sacks for minus 17 yards, a QB pressure, a pass break-up and a fumble recovery…Named Conference USA Special Teams Player of the Week after blocking two field goal attempts in SMU’s 28-21 win over defending C-USA Champion East Carolina, one of which led to a 65-yard touchdown return…Produced four tackles at Marshall and blocked two kicks vs. Rice, a PAT and a 34-yard field goal…Notched a sack in SMU’s Hawaii Bowl win over Nevada.

INJURY REPORT

Has not missed any games, but has had some minor knee and shoulder injuries during his career.

 

AGILITY TESTS

4.60 in the 40-yard dash…1.61 10-yard dash…2.63 20-yard dash…4.51 20-yard shuttle…

7.07 three-cone drill…34 ½-inch vertical jump…10’1” broad jump…Bench pressed 225 pounds 38 times…33 3/8-inch arm length…9 5/8-inch hands…82 ¼-inch wingspan.

 

WORLD JUNIOR TRACK

Hunt won gold medals in both the shot and the discus at the 2006 World Junior Champion-ships in Beijing, becoming the first junior athlete ever to win a shot/discus gold medal double…Is also the current world junior record holder in discus throw.

 

TRACK ACHIEVEMENTS

Year

Tournament

Venue

Event

Result

Mark

Representing  Estonia

2003

Youth World Championships

Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada

Hammer throw (5 kg)

8th

64.77 PB

2004

World Junior Championships

Grosseto, Italy

Discus Throw (1.75 kg)

6th

58.30 PB

2005

Junior European Championships

Kaunas, Lithuania

Discus throw (1.75 kg)

1st

62.19 CR, NJR

2006

Junior World Championships

Beijing, China

Shot put (6 kg)

1st

20.53 WJL

Discus throw (1.75 kg)

1st

67.32 WJL

European Cup First League Group A

Prague, Czech Republic

Hammer throw

6th

60.21 SB

2007

European U23 Championships

Debrecen, Hungary

Discus Throw

6th

56.49

 

PERSONAL

Business major…Born in Karski-Nuia, Estonia.

 

PLAYER STATISTICS

DEFENSIVE STATISTICS
STATS GP GS TK SO AS FR FC INT TFL PBU SACK BK
2009 13 00 008  04  04  01  00  0-0  02.5-17   01  02.5-17  07
2010 14 13 045  21  24  00  00  0-0  06.5-32   02  03.0-21  03
2011 13 02 028  16  12  00  00  0-0  07.5-53   01  03.0-27  04
2012 13 12 031  19  12  00  02  1-9  11.5-79   02  08.0-56  03
TOTAL 53 27 112  60  50  01  02  1-9  28.0-181   06  16.5-121  17

ADDITIONAL STATISTICS…Recorded one QB pressure in 2009; one pressure in 2010; eleven pressures in 2012.

 

 

 

HUNT GAME BY GAME LOG

2012 Season

Date

Opponent

Score

Played

Int. Ret.

Tackles

Sacks

PBU

FC

Pres

BK

No

Yds

TD

Ast

Solo

Asst
Loss

Solo
Loss

Loss
Yds

Ast

Solo

Yards

Baylor 09/02/12 at Baylor 24-59

Yes

0

0

0

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Stephen F. Austin 09/08/12 SFA 52-0

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

Texas A&M 09/15/12 Texas A&M 3-48

Yes

0

0

0

2

1

0

1

7

0

1

7

0

0

0

1

TCU 09/29/12 TCU 16-24

Yes

0

0

0

4

2

0

2

13

0

1

7

0

0

1

0

UTEP 10/06/12 at UTEP 17-0

Yes

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

1

Tulane 10/13/12 at Tulane 26-27

Yes

0

0

0

0

2

0

1

4

0

1

4

1

0

0

0

Houston 10/18/12 Houston 72-42

Yes

0

0

0

2

2

0

2

19

0

2

19

1

0

4

0

Memphis 10/27/12 Memphis 44-13

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

UCF 11/03/12 at UCF 17-42

Yes

0

0

0

0

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Southern Miss. 11/10/12 USM 34-6

Yes

1

9

0

1

2

0

1

7

0

1

7

0

0

0

0

Rice 11/17/12 at Rice 14-36

Yes

0

0

0

0

2

0

1

6

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Tulsa 11/24/12 Tulsa 35-27

Yes

0

0

0

1

2

1

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

2

0

Fresno St. 12/24/12 Fresno St. 43-10

Yes

0

0

0

0

3

0

3

22

0

2

12

0

2

3

0

Season Totals

1

9

0

12

19

1

11

79

0

8

56

2

2

11

3

 

2011 Season

Date

Opponent

Score

Played

Tackles

Sacks

PBU

FC

Pres

BK

Ast

Solo

Asst
Loss

Solo
Loss

Loss
Yds

Ast

Solo

Yards

Texas A&M 09/04/11 at Texas A&M 14-46

Yes

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

2

UTEP 09/10/11 UTEP 28-17

Yes

2

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

Northwestern St. 09/17/11 Northwestern St. 40-7

Yes

1

1

0

1

14

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

Memphis 09/24/11 at Memphis 42-0

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

TCU 10/01/11 at TCU 40-33

Yes

0

3

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

UCF 10/15/11 UCF 38-17

Yes

2

0

1

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Southern Miss. 10/22/11 at Southern Miss. 3-27

Yes

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Tulsa 10/29/11 at Tulsa 7-38

Yes

1

2

0

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Tulane 11/05/11 Tulane 45-24

Yes

1

1

0

1

9

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

Navy 11/12/11 Navy 17-24

Yes

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Houston 11/19/11 at Houston 7-37

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Rice 11/26/11 Rice 27-24

Yes

0

3

0

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Pittsburgh 01/07/12 at Pittsburgh 28-6

Yes

2

3

0

3

27

0

3

27

0

0

0

0

Season Totals

12

16

1

7

53

0

3

27

1

0

0

4

 

2010 Season

Date

Opponent

Score

Played

Int. Ret.

Tackles

Sacks

PBU

FC

Pres

BK

No

Yds

TD

Ast

Solo

Asst
Loss

Solo
Loss

Loss
Yds

Ast

Solo

Yards

Texas Tech 09/05/10 at Texas Tech 27-35

Yes

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

UAB 09/11/10 UAB 28-7

Yes

0

0

0

0

2

0

1

3

0

1

3

1

0

0

0

Washington St. 09/18/10 WSU 35-21

Yes

0

0

0

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

TCU 09/24/10 TCU 24-41

Yes

0

0

0

0

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

Rice 10/02/10 at Rice 42-31

Yes

0

0

0

1

2

0

1

11

0

1

11

0

0

0

0

Tulsa 10/09/10 Tulsa 21-18

Yes

0

0

0

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

Navy 10/16/10 at Navy 21-28

Yes

0

0

0

2

3

0

2

5

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Houston 10/23/10 Houston 20-45

Yes

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Tulane 10/30/10 at Tulane 31-17

Yes

0

0

0

2

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

UTEP 11/06/10 at UTEP 14-28

Yes

0

0

0

4

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Marshall 11/20/10 Marshall 31-17

Yes

0

0

0

2

2

1

1

3

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

East Carolina 11/26/10 at East Carolina 45-38

Yes

0

0

0

5

1

1

0

7

1

0

7

0

0

1

0

UCF 12/04/10 at UCF 7-17

Yes

0

0

0

3

4

1

0

3

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Army 12/30/10 Army 14-16

Yes

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

Season Totals

0

0

0

24

21

3

5

32

2

2

21

2

0

1

3

 

 

 

 

2009 Season

Date

Opponent

Score

Played

Tackles

Sacks

PBU

FC

Pres

BK

Ast

Solo

Asst
Loss

Solo
Loss

Loss
Yds

Ast

Solo

Yards

Stephen F. Austin 09/05/09 Stephen F. Austin 31-23

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

UAB 09/12/09 at UAB 35-33

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Washington St. 09/19/09 at Washington St. 27-30

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

TCU 10/03/09 at TCU 14-39

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

East Carolina 10/10/09 East Carolina 28-21

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

2

Navy 10/17/09 Navy 35-38

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Houston 10/24/09 at Houston 15-38

Yes

1

1

1

1

12

1

1

12

0

0

0

0

Tulsa 10/31/09 at Tulsa 27-13

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

1

Rice 11/07/09 Rice 31-28

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

2

UTEP 11/14/09 UTEP 35-31

Yes

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

Marshall 11/21/09 at Marshall 31-34

Yes

3

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Tulane 11/28/09 Tulane 26-21

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Nevada 12/24/09 Nevada 45-10

Yes

0

1

0

1

5

0

1

5

0

0

1

0

Season Totals

4

4

1

2

17

1

2

17

1

0

1

7

 

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