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Sal Sunseri schools Gators DE target Derick Hunter
There’s not much left for Derick Hunter to learn when he visits the University of Florida.
The 4-star defensive end from Dunbar High School (Fort Myers, Fla.) has been coming to campus since his freshman year and told SEC Country that Gainesville is like a second home for him.
So when Hunter made a two-day trip to Florida this past weekend, he knew exactly what he wanted to get out of the visit.
“Now that I’m at this point in the cycle, I’m basically trying to learn the playbooks,” Hunter told SEC Country. “Just sitting in film study and learning stuff I need to work on. It’s always been hard for me to figure out the snap count and tell when the offense was going to run a play. I’m the type of dude that watches a lot of film and studies, but that’s one thing I never got on point before. Well, that was before I came to Florida.”
Hunter had a film session with Florida defensive line coach Sal Sunseri during his trip and received several pointers, including help with the snap count. The session with Sunseri made a difference for Hunter on the practice field.
“I was out there calling what the offense was about to run and it’s easy for me now. I learned that from Coach Sal,” Hunter said. “He taught me that in film study and no coach has ever taught me that. During practice he came over and gave me a little test about it. He wanted to see if I remember what he told me and I did. So he’s a good coach when it comes to teaching us what we’re supposed to know for our assignments.
“He wants to push us. It’s all about listening to him. The help is there. If you want the help, he’s going to push you to the next level. He wants everything to be on point. Some kids might give him a hard time because he’s new, but he gives everybody the utmost respect and want to help us become the best. I see how Coach Sal is and he’s about what he says.”
— Rambo hunter. jr (@hunterderick31) March 19, 2018
The 6-foot-4, 281-pound Hunter is ranked the nation’s No. 15 strongside defensive end and No. 186 overall prospect in the 247Sports composite. Florida and Georgia are tied at the top of his leaderboard at this time.
Hunter kept a close eye on the D-line group as he shadowed Sunseri at practice. He told SEC Country the players treat him like a little brother, especially nose tackle T.J. Slaton.
“Me and T.J. go back. I met him when he was playing in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl and we hit it off out there,” Hunter said. “I didn’t even know he was at the University of Florida until I saw him at the basketball game on my last visit (Feb. 24). We just sat there and vibed all night.
“Then when I came back Friday, we were in the film room together and we hung out later that night in his dorm room. It was lit. He’s a dog like me. I was definitely watching him at practice and he stood out to me. I think he’s going to do big things in this defense.”
5-star RB Trey Sanders high on Florida’s backfield
Like Hunter, 5-star recruit Trey Sanders also has a relationship with a current Florida player.
The nation’s No. 1-ranked running back visited this weekend with his mother and older brother Umstead Sanders, a junior college linebacker who committed to the Gators on Sunday as a preferred walk-on.
During his time at practice Saturday, Sanders spent more than a hour watching Florida’s backs and came away impressed with the group.
“The backs are special this year, especially my boy Dameon Pierce,” Sanders said. “Me and him are pretty close. I know Dameon from 7-on-7 and that’s where the relationship started.”
Pierce, the GHSAA’s all-time leader rusher, was a key member of Florida’s 2018 class and is one of six players at the position. Despite a loaded depth chart, Sanders believes Pierce has the potential to make an immediate impact.
“He’s quick. To me, he’s got the best stuff out of everybody. He’s probably one of the best backs out there,” Sanders said. “He likes it at Florida. He told me everything has been going smooth. He’s trying to get me to come to Florida. He told me to come be great with him.”
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