By Dave Wagner
Derrick Hunter is ready to step up his role this fall for the Eastern New Mexico University football team.
And he thinks the team is ready to step up as well.
“With this being my third year, I want to show the younger guys the ropes,” said Hunter, a 6-foot, 170-pound junior from Lamesa, Texas, who has led ENMU in receiving in each of his first two seasons.
The Greyhounds posted a 6-5 record in 2003, but finished the season with three consecutive losses. This year, though, they bring a bevy of senior-laden experience to the table.
“Things kind of fell apart a little bit,” Hunter said of the late-season slide. “We’re definitely taking that as motivation, taking that negative and turning it into a positive.”
Hunter caught 30 passes for 644 yards as a freshman and grabbed for 619 yards — nearly half of the team’s total of 1,264 yards passing — last season.
“He’s got the tools to be the best in the Lone Star (Conference),” veteran ENMU coach Bud Elliott said. “He has speed, a good vertical jump, good hands — I don’t think there’s a better receiver in the Lone Star right now.”
With a strong senior class, Hunter said he sees a bounce in players’ steps during preseason.
“People came in this year with the attitude that they’re looking for good things to happen,” he said. “This year, we’ve got great leadership and a great group of seniors.
“That sense of urgency is there because we want to do it for (the seniors).”