Of the three offensive linemen drafted by the Miami Dolphins in April, Robert Hunt was the player many analysts said was the best value — and the most ready to play.
Yet four weeks into the NFL season, he’s the one who has played the least.
But with Austin Jackson on injured reserve and out indefinitely with a foot injury, Hunt could be in line for the first start of his career Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers.
Back when the Dolphins took Hunt in the second round, we provided the basics — he started 45 games at Louisiana, can play both tackle and guard, stands 6-5, 323. But let’s take a second look now that there’s a good chance Hunt is the team’s right tackle in Week 5.
Hunt’s back story is something out of movie. He grew up in extreme poverty in tiny Wiergate, Texas, a town of 450 in the far eastern part of Texas. His family lost its home in Hurricane Rita. Football was his escape.
We recommend you reading this excellent Yahoo! story on Hunt that ran before the draft, but here’s one unforgettable detail: When Louisiana coaches made a recruiting visit to his home, they saw holes in the floor and heard rats in the wall.
Just a few years later, Hunt is a millionaire.
His career could get an even greater kick start Sunday, should he get the start.
And how big will the party be back home?
“It’d probably be a big one. If so, if that were to happen, it’d probably be a big one.”
Hunt added: “It’s a blessing. A lot of people may not have seen my story or may have. It’s a blessing. To come from where I’m from, I don’t take it lightly. This is something that kids dream of coming from where I come from, and for me to be in this position, for them to see me and give them hope, it just means a lot to me.”
Hunt, who said he’s played most tackle in practice this week but also has gotten work at guard, met with the reporters Thursday for the first time this season. If he plays, and plays well, expect the Dolphins to promote him more and more.
He’s got a great personality.
An example: Hunt’s nine snaps have been as a sixth offensive lineman, making him eligible to catch a pass.
“If they did call that play, I think I’d do well with it. I think I’ve got really, really good hands. I used to call myself a little Randy Moss back in the day; but I don’t want to put that out there and then if I end up getting that chance and I drop it. Then everybody will be like, ‘aw, man.’ I won’t say too much about that.”
And does he have a touchdown dance?
“I have to [get a] touchdown first. No, not yet. I think I’m a good dancer so whenever it happens, I’ll bring it out. We’ll all see it together, so it’ll be a debut-type thing. .... I don’t think there’s any more pressure on me. Once I get my chance — like I keep saying — once I get my chance or my opportunity, whenever the coaches need me and think I’m ready; whenever that time comes, I think I’ll be ready and I don’t want to play with pressure, so I think I’ll be fine.”