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Gold and Black Illustrated Vol28, Digital1

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GOLD AND BLACK ILLUSTRATED VOLUME 28, ISSUE 1 30 get, because I know this opportunity doesn't come often. I approach the game very seriously. I take every day like it's a game day. And I know whoever I face, they're going to get my best abilities." Hunte quickly understood it was going to take more than his physical attributes for him to become the player he wanted to be at Purdue, a realization that became par- ticularly acute when his body let him down a couple times in only half a year. In the Florida playoff semifinals in 2012, the then-Miami Central senior broke his ankle, sidelining him for the state championship game. Feeling like he had rehabbed it back into good condition by the summer, Hunte again broke it, when he suffered a hairline fracture during a workout only two weeks after arriving at Purdue. It was a humbling experience, especially for a young player who had been telling other incoming freshmen he expected to leave early for the NFL after only three years at Purdue. "That's the confidence he has in himself and his ability," said senior Danny Ezechukwu, a rookie in the same '13 class. "That injury when he first arrived humbled him, and he realized that God probably had an alternate route for him. But he took it in stride, remained humble and learned from the guys ahead of him." When Hunte started to get on the field two years later — he was a reserve in 2015 — he did so with a new un- derstanding of the work he'd have to put in. That helped him as a sophomore, when he had a couple sacks as a reserve, then as a junior starter last season. A high ankle sprain suffered just before the season opener kept Hunte out of the first two games of 2016, but he started the last 10 games, totaling 47 tackles and six pass breakups. Hunte wants to be better as a senior, thinking he should be able to turn the breakups into turnovers. And with a quicker-than-anticipated closing speed, that might be his best physical trait, and his high football IQ, perhaps that can happen. "The thing that's nice about him is that he understands the game of football, he knows what his strengths are and his weaknesses, he avoids putting himself in bad posi- tions," cornerbacks coach Derrick Jackson said. "He has probably the best eyes for us in the back end. I think there's been only a handful of times (in camp) he's been lost in one-on-one coverage, but it's been when someone has made a great play. To me, that's what has to happen, you've got to make guys make great plays." j It's All On The Best Purdue Sports Information On The Web • Real-time recruiting • Game stories, analysis and blogs • Premium message boards • Video, audio, live stream events and more • Exclusive access to premium information Part of the network Note: is a separate subscription than your subscription to Gold & Black Illustrated/Gold and Black EXPRESS. Free trials available!

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