2014 SEC Top 100 Countdown: No. 32 Danielle Hunter, LSU
SDS talent evaluators Jon Cooper and Brad Crawford spent several months breaking down last year’s highlights, incoming talent and projected 2014 impact following spring practice to compile a list of the SEC’s Top 100 players heading into fall. Athletes were selected by position then ranked overall counting down to No. 1.
Stick with SDS throughout summer and get in on the action using the hashtag #SDSTop100 as we unveil a new player daily leading up to opening night on Aug. 28.
32. Danielle Hunter, Jr., DE, LSU
Hunter earned a starting spot in the early portion of his sophomore campaign and improved as the season progressed. A speed rusher with a quick first step and ideal NFL size at 6-foot-6 nearly 250 pounds, Hunter prefers finesse over power and explosion over technique. He’ll anchor LSU’s defensive line as a pass-rushing specialist, an athlete whose length provides a constant worry for quarterbacks looking for passing lanes at the line of scrimmage.
A future combine monster, Hunter’s 39-inch vertical leap comes in handy against attacking running backs hoping to keep his tenacious spirit away from the pocket. In the SEC, Hunter’s athleticism at his position closely resembles Jadeveon Clowney but the Texas native hasn’t yet had the breakout game or memorable hit. LSU defensive coordinator John Chavis hopes that comes this season, likely Hunter’s last at the college level.
2013 statistics: 57 tackles, 8 TFL, 3 sacks
2014 projection: 63 tackles, 9.5 TFL, 6.5 sacks