TAMPA – Sickles’ Jontrey Hunter is an up-and-comer who everyone needs to know about.
The rising junior stands at 6’2″, 185 lbs. He’s gained 15 lbs. since the end of last season. As a sophomore, he totaled 45 tackles at cornerback and played a bit at wide receiver at Alonso.
This year, he’s going to start at free safety and see more time at wide receiver at Sickles. He told me he’ll move over to cornerback and linebacker as well at times on defense.
Hunter transferred to Sickles because his family moved to that area. After not playing football as a freshman, he feels like his first high school season on the varsity squad went pretty well.
“I really played cornerback that’s really it,” Hunter told Prep Sports Scouting. “Last year, I learned that you have to have a short-term memory. My game this year will better because I think I’ve gotten bigger, stronger and faster.”
He’ll be the Gryphons’ starting strong safety and wide receiver at times when he’s moved off defense. He’s excited to play safety because he says he likes contact.
Sickles went 8-3 last season and appeared in the Class 7A region quarterfinals before losing to Lakeland 55-26.
Hunter likes the projection of this current group.
“We have a good mindset going right now, great scheme and great coaches. I feel like we want it.”
In February, Patrick Murphy took over as the head coach for Brian Turner, who led Sickles to a 50-19 record over the last six seasons. Hunter says Murphy knows what he’s talking about and has a good scheme in place.
Starting his football career at age 8 as a running back, Hunter played wide receiver shortly thereafter. He says he chose not to play football as a freshman at Alonso because he didn’t feel ready and was just working out in an effort to get better.
Gryphons defensive coordinator/strength and conditioning coach Paul Mandeville played a big part in Hunter gaining the confidence that he has today.
“Coach Mandeville told me I got a lot of speed and that I can really play. That boosted my confidence a lot.”
As for his biggest strengths, Hunter pointed to his technique and knowledge of his responsibilities. He’s simply looking to focus on his role with his team this season on each and every snap.
Hunter holds two offers currently from USF and Iowa State. The Cyclones offered both him and his teammate, quarterback Jordan McCloud on Saturday. Hunter also has drawn interest from FIU.
He says his mom is his biggest role model.
“She’s been pushing me. She’s really the reason why I’ve gotten all this exposure by taking me to camps. She’s always working and that’s who I’m working for right now.”
Hunter’s ultimate goal is to take football as far as he can.
“I want to go college and try to make it to the NFL. I want to get my degree in sports medicine and make sure my mom and family is okay and all that good stuff.”
The strides that this kid has made are absolutely incredible. He has the looks of a lengthy and hard hitting safety. He’s a student of the game and now that he’s gotten stronger that will help him at the point of attack.
Jontrey Hunter is down to earth and easy to root for. He’ll make Sickles better on both sides of the ball especially as a full-time safety. Look out for Hunter as he takes the next step forward in his junior season.
Favorite player to watch – Bengals CB Darqueze Dennard, FSU S Derwin James, Bengals CB William Jackson III
Playlist before games – 21 Savage
Favorite movie – Gridiron Gang
Favorite TV show – NFL Network
Fun fact about you that you think no one knows – “I like mini golf. It’s fun. I really can’t golf, but I like mini golf.”
Nickname from teammates or friends – “Trey”, “3”
Game film: Hunter’s Hudl tape
Photo credit: Scout.com
Jake Perper is the scout for Prep Sports Scouting. Make sure to follow along for all the updates on Twitter: @JakePerper.
If you have any questions or comments feel free to write below or email Jake at email@example.com.