From NCAA College Football Information & Resource
Kendall Hunter (born September 16, 1988 in Tyler, Texas) plays running back for the Oklahoma State University Cowboys in the NCAA college football tournament. For the past couple of seasons since his arrival at Oklahoma State, Hunter's name has often been mentioned in the same sentence as Barry Sanders. His coaches and the media have taken notice on how Hunter's size and shiftiness on the field, or even his pre-game ritual of taking a nap draw similarity to that of the 1988 Heisman Trophy winner. Like Sanders, Hunter also had to bide his time while learning the ropes from his more experienced teammates before taking over the rushing responsibilities at the Cowboy camp. But it's only a matter of time before fans find out if the Tyler, Texas native is indeed the second coming of the great Barry Sanders.
Kendall is the son of Freddie and Kenneth Hunter. Kendall is also known as Spud, the nickname given to him by running backs coach Curtis Luper when he was a freshman. Kendall has a habit of dozing off before games, which he says is his way of focusing. He told coach Mike Gundy that it is a sleeping disorder. The habit is just one of the similarities he shares with former Cowboy Barry Sanders, aside from their laid-back, quiet nature, small stature and shifty moves on the field.
His favorite NFL team is the Dallas Cowboys. He considers his mother as his biggest influence.
Hunter attended high school at John Tyler High in his hometown of Tyler, Texas where he played under head coach Thomas Brooks. As a junior, he rushed for 1,056-yards and 12 touchdowns and added 3 receptions for 255-yards and 2 scores to help the Lions make it to the Bi-district playoffs with an 8-3 record and earn a first team all-district selection. The following year as a senior, Hunter led Tyler back to the Bi-district after racking up impressive numbers of 1,200 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns to go with 29 receptions for 429 yards. He was named as a first team all-district, second-team all-state, and first-team all-east Texas selection by the end of his senior season which he culminated by recording career stats of 2,799 rushing yards, 3,396 all-purpose yards and 32 touchdowns.
A three-star prospect ranked 50th in Scout.com's and 40th in Rivals.com's running backs list of the class of 2007, Hunter received scholarship offers from Baylor and Kansas State. Because of his size, he was often omitted by several major college schools and even coach Gundy and his staff questioned if he would be a viable recruit. Gundy eventually believed he was worth it and offered Hunter a scholarship after watching him play during a spring game. He committed to play for the Cowboys in January of 2007.
Hunter immediately impressed coach Gundy during the team's initial practice at fall camp that he eventually gained the back-up running back spot behind Dantrell Savage. He did not play in the first game of the season at No.13 Georgia but saw action the following game against Florida Atlantic where he scored his first career touchdown on a 47-yard reception. He finished the game rushing 8 times for 57 yards and a 33-yard TD run with two catches for 49 yards. At Troy, he led his team with a season high 16 carries for 125 yards (first 100-yard rushing game by a Cowboy since the previous year, 2nd time for an OSU rookie since 2002) with a season high 3 catches for 13 yards in the 23-41 setback. He made it a back-to-back 100-yard effort against Texas Tech when he rushed for 113 yards and 1 TD on 14 carries in the 49-45 win over the Red Raiders. In the win over Sam Houston State, he contributed 9 carries for 64 yards and 1 TD then chipped in 10 carries for 82 yards in the 23-24 heartbreaking loss to Texas A&M. He gathered 104 total yards (67 rushing, 37 receiving) with 1 scoring run as the Pokes defeated Nebraska on the road, 45-14. In the homecoming game vs. K-State, Hunter rushed for 65 yards on 9 carries as the Cowboys edged out the Wildcats, 41-39. In the next two losses to No.14 Texas and No.4 Kansas, he was limited to season lows of 2 rushing yards on 4 carries by the Longhorns and had only 2 carries for 6 yards against the Jayhawks.
At Baylor, he contributed 77 rush yards on 15 carries with an 8-yard catch in the win over the Bears then ended his regular season with only 2 carries for 5 yards in the loss at No.10 Oklahoma. In his first bowl game appearance, he had 8 carries for 33 yards and a 24-yard catch as the Pokes defeated Indiana, 49-33. He finished his inaugural year as a Cowboy as the team's third-leading rusher with 107 carries for 696 yards and 4 TDs. The team named him as a co-recipient of the Dick Bogert Award for the outstanding freshman along with Ugo Chinasa.
At the annual spring game, Hunter led the winning Orange squad with 11 carries for 69 yards. In his first ever career start, Hunter recorded the third 100-yard rushing game of his career (107 yards) and scored a pair of TDs on 23 carries as the Pokes whipped Washington State, 39-13. He topped that performance the following week by establishing a new career high of 210 rush yards and 2 TDs on 22 carries with an 18-yard catch and a 58-yard touchdown run in the opening quarter (longest of his career) as OSU defeated Houston, 56-37. Against Southwest Missouri State, Hunter saw just over 15 minutes of action before being taken out, leaving the game with 132 yards and 2 TDs on 11 carries in a 57-13 lopsided win. Against Troy, he registered his 4th straight 100-yard rushing effort by gaining 169 rushing yards on 24 carries with two scoring runs in an easy 55-24 victory. Against A&M, he fell just 10 yards shy of extending his streak of 100-yard games as he rushed for only 90 yards on 21 carries in the 28-point win over the Aggies. In the road-opener vs. No.3 Missouri, he torched the Tiger defense with 154 rush yards and 1 TD on 24 carries with 4 catches of 27 yards in the scintillating 28-23 upset triumph. Against Baylor, he was held to one of his lowest yards per carry average (3.58) of the season although the Pokes still won, 34-6. Midway through the season, Hunter was named as a Midseason Second Team All-American by Phil Steele and SI.com, and an Honorable Mention All-American by Scout.com.
On the road against the top-ranked Longhorns, Hunter rushed for 161 yards and 1 TD on 18 carries with a 31-yard TD catch but his efforts were not enough as OSU got handed its first loss of the season. Against Iowa State, he helped the Pokes bounce back with a 59-17 win after contributing 104 yards and a TD on 13 carries. In a crucial game against 2nd ranked Texas Tech, he had 112 rushing yards and 2 TDs on 17 carries in a disappointing 20-56 loss. Despite the setback, he was named as a semifinalist for the Doak Walker Award just a couple of days later. In the road finale at Colorado, Hunter was injured on a play when he couldn’t handle a pitch from quarterback Zac Robinson in the third quarter. He recovered the fumble, but limped off the field and did not return, finishing the game with 102 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries in a 30-17 victory. A bye-week did help him recover in time for the regular-season finale against Oklahoma, where he was held to just 84 rushing yards on 18 carries, with a season high 46 receiving yards and his first TD reception of the season on 5 catches in the 20-point OU blow-out. Following the regular season, Hunter was named as a first team All-Big 12 by the league coaches, and a first team All-American by Rivals.com and the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA). At the Holiday Bowl, Hunter scored on two scoring runs, but was held to a season low 37 rushing yards on 13 carries in a 31-42 loss to Oregon. He finished his sophomore season with 1,555 yards rushing (6th-highest single-season total in school history) and 16 rushing touchdowns (tied for fourth-best single-season total in Cowboy history).
|Kendall Hunter makes a nice TD run vs. Nebraska (2007).|
- All-Big 12 First Team
- AT&T All-America Player of the Week Candidate (vs. Missouri)
- CollegeFootballNews.com Honorable Mention Midseason All-American
- Doak Walker Award Semifinalist
- Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) First Team All-American
- Phil Steele All-Big 12 First Team
- Phil Steele First Team All-American
- Phil Steele Midseason All-American Second Team
- Phil Steele Midseason All-Big 12 First Team
- Rivals.com First Team All-American
- SI.com Midseason All-American Second Team
- CollegeFootballNews.com Honorable Mention Freshman All-American
- Dick Bogert Award (Outstanding Freshman)
- 20 Questions With Kendall Hunter
- Kendall Hunter Cfbstats.com
- Kendall Hunter Oklahoma State Profile
- Kendall Hunter Scout.com Profile
- OSU football: Hunter ready for the spotlight
- OSU's 'Spud' aims to show he's a stud
- Pokes’ Hunter has that Sanders look
- Quiet Hunter drawing comparisons to Barry Sanders
- Tyler Lions Game History