An Example For Others
Posted Dec 20, 2007

Mike Hunt developed a reputation in the high school ranks as a head hunting safety. Mike's ability to seek out and punish ball carriers caught the eye of several college recruiters, but Hunt's academics caused many of them to back off.

Mike signed with Mississippi State and then sat out this fall to work on gaining his eligibility for the spring. There were times when he considered just going to junior college, but felt the price of losing two years of eligibility was simply to steep a cost to pay.

It took longer than he expected it to and certainly more work than it needed to, but Mike has now met the NCAA's entrance requirements for incoming freshmen.

"They cleared me the day before yesterday," said Mike. "It's official now."

The hard hitting safety reports that the additional coursework taught him lessons in and out of the classroom.

"I learned not to give up on myself and I know not to slack up on my grades," said Hunt.

The Franklin County standout's story is far too common in his home state of Mississippi. Hunt was able to take some corrective action before his situation became to dire.

"My ninth grade year I played junior varsity football, so I was excited about that," explained Mike. "Then when I got in tenth grade I started playing varsity football and I let my grades slip. I was just messing around and playing. I didn't really start caring about it until my coach came to me and told me I could really be something in football if I worked hard. I started getting serious about it then, but I had a lot of work to do."

Hunt came up just one point short of being certified out of high school, so he elected to sit out this semester and enroll in the spring. He understands that he is one of the lucky ones.

"Grades are more important than just playing football," said Mike. "Getting to play is a privilege you get for making your grades in high school. Making grades are more important."

One day in the future, Hunt would like to go back and try to make a difference in the attitudes and lives of young people in his home town.

"I want to come back to my school after I graduate college and talk to the kids about how important it is to make your grades in school," said Mike. "I want to let them know about what I went through and that they don't have to go through all of that. They won't have to do what I did if they take it seriously"

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