03/29/2013 - 2013 SMU Pro Day: Defensive end Margus Hunt is projected by some experts to be a first-round pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, and is also a symbol of just how far the Southern Methodist University football program has come since the infamous "Death Penalty" was levied in the 1980s. Coach June Jones came to SMU in 2008 and has done an unbelievable job restoring a program that was very good before being put on the "Death Penalty" (the school boasts Pro Football Hall of Famers Lamar Hunt, Raymond Berry, Forrest Gregg, Doak Walker and Eric Dickerson among its alums). In the previous four years, the Mustangs have played in bowl games, winning three (including a 45-10 win over Nevada in the 2009 Hawai'i Bowl, the school's first bowl appearance in the post-"Death Penalty" era).
Hunt hails from Karksi-Nuia, Estonia, and came to SMU as a decorated track and field athlete (he'd set a junior world record in the discus throw at the 2006 World Junior Championships). With SMU dropping its men's track and field program, Hunt was convinced to give football a try. Hunt (6-foot-8 1/2, 282 pounds), who first started playing football in 2009, set an NCAA record with 17 blocked kicks (10 field goals, seven extra points). At SMU's pro day, Hunt - who stood on his numbers from the NFL Scouting Combine - was worked out by New York Jets coach Rex Ryan. - Gil Brandt, NFL.com
03/01/2013 - On the heels of his head-turning time of 4.60 seconds in the 40-yard dash and his outstanding drill work, Hunt sat down with "NFL AM" on Friday to talk about his experiences in Indianapolis, specifically his one-on-one team interviews. NFL Network's Mark Kriegel asked Hunt if he was questioned about whether or not he liked girls, an interrogation Colorado tight end Nick Kasa claimed he endured from at least one NFL team. "Well, they always ask if you have a girlfriend or not, so, that didn't make me uncomfortable whatsoever," Hunt said. "Any other question besides that was simple, straightforward, questionnaire thing we had to fill out for ourselves and we just had to talk about football, so I didn't feel uncomfortable at all."
Teams want to find out if Hunt fits the bill as a five-technique end, but we've also learned this week that at least some front-office types are just as interested in a player's sexual orientation. The question itself is as awkward as it is embarrassing for any prospect. It's also in violation of league guidelines, and the NFL is looking into Kasa's account. Hunt doesn't appear bothered by the questioning, but that won't soften the NFL's investigation. - Marc Sessler, NFL.com
02/27/2013 - TOP 10 COMPELLING NFL COMBINE STORY LINES: 6. Margus Hunt is a officially a Freak. The Estonian track star-turned SMU D-lineman, as expected, wowed scouts by clocking an eye-popping 4.60 40 at 6-8, 277 pounds and did 38 reps on the bench at 225. He also broad jumped 10-1 and had a vertical of 38 inches. Last spring when I did the annual Freaks list, Hunt's mentor, SMU track coach Dave Wollman, predicted Hunt would run a 4.60, which is exactly what the guy ran. The real question for Hunt is can he play with leverage to be more than a kick-blocking specialist in the NFL? (He blocked an NCAA record 10 field goals.) Hunt continued to develop at SMU and did have a career-high 11.5 TFLs and eight sacks as a senior. Stay tuned. - Bruce Feldman, CBSSports.com
12/25/2012 - SMU coach June Jones walked out of Aloha Stadium with another win Saturday, thanks largely to a disruptive performance by defensive end Margus Hunt that set the tone for the Mustangs' 43-10 win over Fresno State in the Hawaii Bowl. Hunt, the 6-foot-8 senior from Estonia with an 82-inch wing span, forced two fumbles that led to field goals and sacked Derek Carr for a safety as SMU (7-6) built a 22-0 halftime lead and never looked back.
The Mustangs also returned two interceptions for touchdowns, giving them eight for the season to tie the NCAA record set last year by Southern Miss. Hayden Greenbauer picked off Carr and returned it 83 yards with 1:14 left, the final blow to a miserable night for the Bulldogs (9-4). SMU had seven sacks, the most Fresno State has given up all year.
Garrett Gilbert was effective with his arm and his legs, running for a 17-yard touchdown for the first score of the game and throwing a perfect strike to Darius Johnson for a 21-yard score to answer the Bulldogs' only touchdown. He rushed for 98 yards on 18 carries and threw for 212 yards. But this game was decided by the Mustangs' defense, with Hunt leading the way. He was voted the game's MVP. - AP Sports
12/24/2012 - PLAYERS TO WATCH: For SMU defensive end Margus Hunt, 2009 was his first year of playing football. His only previous football experience consisted of playing NFL video games. Hunt set an SMU single-season record and tied for second in NCAA history with seven blocked kicks (4 FG, 3 PAT) as a freshman. He now has 17 career blocked kicks (10 FGs, 7 PATs), which ties for second in NCAA history (record is 19). The seven career blocked PATs rank second in the NCAA Record Book (record is eight). He has made his mark at defensive end as well, earning First-Team All-C-USA honors in 2012 and rolling up 14.5 career sacks and 24.5 career TFL. He has also accepted an invitation to play in the 2013 Senior Bowl. - SMU football
12/12/2012 - 2012 ALL-CONFERENCE USA FIRST TEAM (COACHES): DL-Margus Hunt, Sr., SMU, has been selected First Team All-Conference USA (Coaches selection) for the 2012 college football season. Hunt, a senior defensive end, broke the NCAA career record for blocked field goals when he blocked his ninth career FGA against SFA and added another FGA block at UTEP.
Hunt also blocked a PAT versus Texas A&M and is now second all-time in career blocked kicks with 17 (10 FGA, 7 PAT). He leads SMU with six sacks in 2012 and is second on the team in tackles for loss (8.5). Hunt has totaled 14.5 career sacks and 25 career TFL. He also notched his first career interception in the win over Southern Miss. - SMU football
12/07/2012 - SMU defensive end Margus Hunt has accepted an invitation to play in the 2013 Senior Bowl on January 26th in Mobile's Ladd-Peebles Stadium, the Bowl announced today. Hunt will be the 26th Mustang to play in the Senior Bowl and first since Thomas Morstead in 2009.
Hunt, who was named first-team All-C-USA earlier this week, broke the NCAA career record for blocked field goals when he blocked his ninth career FGA against SFA and added another FG block at UTEP. Hunt also blocked a PAT versus Texas A&M and is now second all-time in career blocked kicks with 17 (10 FGA, 7 PAT). He leads SMU with six sacks in 2012 and is second on the team in tackles for loss (8.5). Hunt has totaled 14.5 career sacks and 25 career TFL. He also notched his first career interception in the win over Southern Miss. - SMU football
12/06/2012 - The No. 1 player on the "Freak List: The 10 craziest athletes in college football" is coming to the Senior Bowl, game officials announced via Twitter today. SMU defensive end Margus Hunt (6-foot-7, 288 pounds) has accepted an invitation to play in the all-star game on Jan. 26 at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile. The "Freak List" is an annual selection made by Bruce Feldman for CBSsports.com. Feldman said Hunt, who topped the 2012 list, "sounds like a Playstation football creation." Hunt is a native of Estonia and was the gold-medal winner in the shot put and discus in the 2006 World Junior Championships. He still holds the junior world record in the discus.
Hunt started playing football in 2009 at the recommendation of SMU's track coach. He blocked seven kicks that season. Hunt holds the NCAA record with 10 blocked field-goal attempts and is second all-time with 17 blocked kicks in his career.
Hunt is a three-year starter for the Mustangs and earned All-Conference USA recognition this season. In 2012, he has made 28 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss and six sacks while blocking three kicks. Hunt becomes the second defensive end confirmed for the game, joining BYU's Ziggy Ansah. The Senior Bowl announced on Thursday that Ansah had accepted an invitation. - Mark Inabinett, Alabama Live
10/18/2012 - SCOUTING THE DEFENSE: After shutting out UTEP, the Mustangs sprung a big leak in the first half against Tulane. Then, after allowing only 42 yards on the first six drives of the second half, they surrendered a 68-yard drive for the deciding touchdown. Injuries have depleted the secondary. With young players at cornerback and safety, opponents are targeting mid- and long-range passes. The front seven has been solid, but it cannot totally compensate for the backend weakness, especially against good teams. - The Sports Xchange
09/11/2012 - 9/11/2012 NFL DRAFT SCOUT RISER: 2. Margus Hunt DE Southern Methodist...For a player who has received a lot of hype for his intriguing skill-set, Hunt's development on the football field isn't where most expected it to be entering his senior season. Many already know Hunt's feel-good story as a former track and field stud from Estonia who picked up the game of football three years ago. But besides his work on special teams with 15 career blocked kicks, Hunt has been extremely unpolished as an every-down defender. In the Mustangs' loss to Baylor in the season opener, he looked indecisive and lost on several plays as the action around him appeared to be moving too fast for him to catch up. Hunt is built well at 6-8 and 280-pounds but he doesn't have great football strength, easily being handled by single blockers and playing too high, limiting his leverage. He has athletic tools and will likely turn heads at the NFL Combine in February, but he will be drafted based on potential and not production because his play on the football field thus far has been disappointing. Being new to the game, scouts have been patient with him, but Hunt will need to show more as a senior this season to remain in the early round mix. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com
09/02/2012 - PLAYERS TO WATCH: For SMU senior defensive end Margus Hunt, 2009 was his first year of playing football. His only previous football experience consisted of playing Madden NFL video games. Hunt set an SMU single-season record and tied for second in NCAA history with seven blocked kicks (4FG, 3 PAT) as a freshman. The honorable mention All-C-USA end started 2010 by blocking field goal attempts against Texas Tech and Tulsa, and then blocked a PAT in the Armed Forces Bowl. Hunt opened 2011 on a tear - blocking a pair of PATs at Texas A&M, a field goal against UTEP and another field goal against Northwestern State - and earned honorable mention All-C-USA honors. He wrapped up the season with a dominant performance in the BBVA Compass Bowl win, racking up three sacks and five total tackles. He now has 14 career blocked kicks (8 FGs, 6PATs), which ranks third in NCAA history. The eight career blocked FGs ties an NCAA record and the six career blocked PATs tie for second. Hunt was voted DFW's Top Athlete in a Dallas-News.com poll this summer and enters 2012 on the Watch Lists for both the Hendricks and Lombardi Awards. He was named the No. 1 athletic "freak" in college football by CBSSports.com and has been named preseason All-Conference USA by several outlets. Hunt won gold medals in both the shot put and the discus at the 2006 World Junior Championships, becoming the first athlete ever to win a shot/discus gold medal double. - SMU football
08/30/2012 - Rob Rang's 08/30/12 Top 32 NFL Draft Big Board: 21. Margus Hunt, DE, SMU: It has been over a quarter century since a Southern Methodist player was selected in the first round (1986). In the Estonian-born Hunt, SMU might have the unique talent needed to warrant such a lofty selection. A two-time gold medal winner in the 2006 World Junior Championships (discuss, shot put), Hunt was deservedly listed as the No. 1 "Freak" of 2012 in Bruce Feldman's annual article listing the elite athletes in college football. His combination of size (6-7, 288), strength (35 reps of 225 pounds), speed (4.70) and explosiveness (36-inch vertical jump) is off the charts. In just three seasons of college football, Hunt has 14 blocked kicks. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com
08/01/2012 - 2012 PRESEASON TED HENDRICKS AWARD WATCH LIST: MARGUS HUNT, SMU, has been selected a preseason candidate for the 2012 Ted Hendricks Defensive End of the Year Award. On-field performance, exceptional winning attitude, leadership abilities, contributions to school and community and academic preparedness are some of the criteria used to determine the Award's winner. Hunt is a three-time All-C-USA honorable mention selection and notched 28 stops and four blocked kicks in 2011. He wrapped up the season with a dominant performance in the BBVA Compass Bowl win, racking up three sacks and five total tackles. - SMU football
07/24/2012 - 2012 PRESEASON ALL-CONFERENCE USA TEAM (COACHES): DL Margus Hunt, Sr., SMU...Hunt is a three-time All-C-USA honorable mention selection and notched 28 stops and four blocked kicks in 2011. He wrapped up the season with a dominant performance in the BBVA Compass Bowl win, racking up three sacks and five total tackles. - SMU football
07/19/2012 - 2012 ROTARY LOMBARDI AWARD PRESEASON WATCH LIST: Margus Hunt, DE, SMU, has been selected to the Preseason Rotary Lombardi Award Watch List for the 2012 college football season, presented the nation's top college lineman or linebacker each year by The Rotary Club of Houston. Hunt enters 2012 after being named the No. 1 athletic "freak" in college football by CBSSports.com. He is a three-time All-C-USA honorable mention selection and notched 28 stops and four blocked kicks in 2011. He wrapped up the season with a dominant performance in the BBVA Compass Bowl win, racking up three sacks and five total tackles. - SMU football
05/15/2012 - 05/14/12 BIG BOARD, BEST FOR 2013: 13. Margus Hunt, DE, SMU: It has been over a quarter century since the last time a SMU Mustang was selected in the first round (1986), but in the Estonian-born Hunt, Southern Methodist may have the unique talent needed to warrant such a lofty selection. A two-time gold medal winner in the 2006 World Junior Championships (discus, shot put), Hunt was deservedly listed as the No. 1 "Freak" athlete of 2012 in Bruce Feldman's article as his combination of size (6-7, 288), strength (35 reps of 225 pounds), speed (4.70) and explosiveness (36-inch vertical jump) add up to off-the-charts measurables. In just three seasons of college football, Hunt has an astounding 14 blocked kicks. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com
05/08/2012 - 2012 College Football Freaks List: 1. Margus Hunt, SMU, DE/KB: The native of Estonia sounds like a PlayStation football creation: A 6-foot-8, 280 pounder with an 82-inch wingspan. Yet despite those long arms, he can still bench 225 35 times, and his coach, SMU track coach Dave Wollman, predicts Hunt will rep it 45 times next year at the NFL combine and clock a 4.60 40-yard dash. Hunt has cleaned 384 pounds, snatched 345 and vertical jumped 36 inches. "He's off-the-scale powerful," said Wollman. "On that kind of frame, seeing the cleans and the snatch go that high to the ceiling, it is amazing." Hunt is a prodigious track talent. He won gold medals in the shot and discus at the 2006 World Junior Championships in Beijing, becoming the first junior athlete to ever achieve such a double. He didn't leave his country and move to Dallas to play college football. He moved to Texas to train with Wollman, but SMU hasn't been able to get back its men's track program. Hunt still wanted to train with Wollman, who had mentored another decorated discus thrower from Estonia. To help cover the cost of tuition, Wollman figured with Hunt's size and athleticism, he might be able to help the Mustangs football team. After Hunt blasted blocking sleds and ran a 4.70 40 during a tryout, June Jones said, "Oh yeah, I'll take him." That move has paid off nicely for the Mustangs on the gridiron. - Bruce Feldman, CBS Sports
05/08/2012 - 2012 College Football Freaks List: Hunt has blocked 14 kicks in three years and had 7.5 tackles for loss last season, including a breakout three-sack performance in SMU's bowl win over Pitt. Wollman has coached 19 Olympians in his career and Hunt has the athleticism and is hard-wired to become No. 20. "He's the most kinetic aware of any athlete I've ever had," Wollman said, launching into a dissertation about Hunt's wondrous hand-eye coordination and a remarkable acute level of body awareness. As a football player, Hunt is still pretty raw, having only played - and trained for the sport - for just a few years. He says this offseason he's working to get his legs bigger and hopes to lower his center of gravity. Hunt has even put his track career on hold for football, which has bothered some folks back home, he said: "I was called a national traitor because I 'started doing some stupid sport.' My mom reads the Internet comments. I had to calm her down. But no matter what, Estonia will always be my home country." Wollman is optimistic that his prot??g?? won't just make it in the NFL soon, but that Hunt's visibility and what he's done for Mustang football will also help bring the men's track program back to SMU. - Bruce Feldman, CBS Sports