January 23, 02013
MOBILE, Ala. _ Margus Hunt is still very new to football.
But he readily is getting the hang of things with just four years of playing the game.
Despite being considered by many scouts to be a very raw defensive end prospect, Hunt showed enough in his four years at Southern Methodist to rocket himself onto the draft boards of NFL teams as he showcases himself here at the Senior Bowl.
Hunt said the opportunity to practice and play in the Senior Bowl is has been a learning experience.
“There's still so much to learn. I have to pick it up faster. I feel I've learned so much in the last three days,” he said.
Hunt, a native of Estonia, was first and foremost a track-and-field athlete and an accomplished one that that in the shot put and discus. That led him to pursue coming to SMU to work with Mustangs track coach Dave Wollman.
There was just one problem – SMU had abandoned its men's track and field program.
So, the 6-8, 277-pound Hunt eventually made his way to football at SMU and became a standout, saving his best for last by winning the MVP Award in the Hawaii Bowl as the Mustangs defeated Fresno State.
As for his adjustment to football, Hunt after having never played it before in his homeland, the defensive end said learning the game was the biggest obstacle.
“First, it was just the language barrier itself, learning the language of the defense,” Hunt said following the North squad's Senior Bowl practice Wednesday. “Once I got that down, the schemes themselves and everything just flowed and it wasn't a big deal. The physical part picked up as the games went along.”
Hunt isn't the first player from Estonia to reach the NFL. Tennessee Titans tackle Michael Roos was born there, but left his homeland for the United States when he was a child.
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Terry McCormick covers the Titans for TitanInsider.com