LSU DE Danielle Hunter (US Presswire)
All summer long TSD will unveil our top 50 LSU football players for the 2013 season. TSD's Ben Love, Austin Cooper and Hunter Paniagua compiled the rankings. Coming in at number 22, on the fourth of July, is defensive end Danielle Hunter.
Publisher’s Notes: Every weekday until the LSU football team reports for Fall Camp on Sunday, Aug. 4, TSD will unveil another player in our top 50 Tigers for the 2013 season. We arrived at this list by combining individual rankings from TSD’s Austin Cooper, Ben Love and Hunter Paniagua. For example, a player who received a No. 1 vote got 50 points, a No. 2 vote got 49 points, and so on. Every player who received votes had his points totaled across all three individual lists, and the result was our final TSD ranking. All players, including incoming signees, were eligible for selection.
No. 22 – DE Danielle Hunter
A talented but still developing player coming into his sophomore season, Danielle Hunter (6-foot-5, 235 pounds) will be in LSU’s defensive end rotation in 2013. With great height, build and quickness, Hunter has many of the tools needed to be a successful player on the SEC level. What the Katy, Tex., native still has to work on is refining his technique, a lesson position coach Brick Haley taught Hunter when he dropped him below redshirt junior Jordan Allen on the depth chart this spring.
As a true freshman Hunter played in 12 of the Tigers’ 13 games, making 12 tackles, mostly on special teams. Entering this fall his role will increase defensively, whether Hunter starts opposite Jermauria Rasco or not, given LSU’s relative lack of experienced depth along the defensive line. He’s got the potential and size to be a breakout player on the Tigers’ defense, but Hunter has to prove he can be an every-down player.
By The Numbers
Hunter’s highest ranking: 18th
Hunter’s lowest ranking: 25th
Why this ranking is too high
While nothing that happens in spring ball is ever permanent for an upcoming season, Hunter did have at least a small fall from grace in the five-week period. After he came into the opening week a starter, it took less than two weeks for Allen to pass him up. Hunter himself told TSD during interviews that his technique was the culprit and that it had to improve before the season arrived. His value, as the 22nd best player on LSU’s team, could be in question until Hunter puts it all together.
Why this ranking is too low
Simply put, his potential. Hunter is built in the mold of KeKe Mingo, a lightning-quick bookend with a 6-foot-5 frame. If Hunter can continue to learn the ropes from Haley and some of the older players, the sky is really the limit for him. Just watching Hunter sprint downfield on kickoff coverage throughout the 2012 season, it’s clear to see he’s got uncanny athleticism and speed for a player his size.
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