Blount defensive tackle Lee Hunter fulfills promise, signs with Auburn
Almost exactly a year after joining Auburn, Blount defensive tackle Lee Hunter signed with the Tigers today.
The 6-foot-5, 315-pound star has decided to stick with Auburn despite the sacking of Gus Malzahn over the weekend and the school yet to name a new coach.
“I loved Auburn from the jump,” Hunter told AL.com. “In chatting with (Blount) (Lev) Holly’s coach recently, we talked about the word ‘engagement’ not just being something you say. I wanted to keep my word. I love Coach Gus Malzahn, but I wasn’t just going to change my mind because he’s gone. I wanted to keep my commitment. I love Auburn, the bottom line is.
Hunter wasn’t the only Blount player to sign with Auburn on Wednesday. In a surprise, teammate Armani Diamond overthrown from La. Tech. He’s a 3-star defensive back.
Hunter, who led Blount to the Class 6A quarterfinals and played in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star game last weekend, finished the season with 80 tackles, including 29 for loss, and 8 sacks. He also played an offensive role in key situations.
“When it’s in your heart, it’s in your heart,” Holly said of Hunter’s decision. “We sat down and talked. One thing I told her is whatever your heart tells you, go for it. Coach (Auburn’s interim) (Kevin) Steele and coach (Rodney) Gardner did a great job recruiting him. If you look at the development side, I think he’s in the right place. The sky is the limit for him.
Hunter, player # 8 on AL.com’s revamped A list, had many other offerings, including in Alabama, Florida, Florida State, and Georgia. He said he had spoken to Steele many times this week and had also spoken to Malzahn.
“I spoke to Coach Steele every day and every night,” he said. “I spoke to Coach Gus Malzahn, and he said he really wanted to train me and that he loved me as a person. I love trainer Gus Malzahn.
Hunter also had a message for Auburn fans, who might be concerned about the future of their program at this time.
“War Eagle, baby,” he said. “They know what’s going on.”