Jaden Hunter didn’t know about one of his late father’s signature plays at UGA until the summer.
Hunter is a 4-star linebacker from Westlake High School. He’s the son of Brice Hunter, who starred at receiver at UGA from 1992-95. His father died in 2004.
Most die-hard UGA fans will remember Brice Hunter’s game-changing play against South Carolina in 1995.
With the Bulldogs trailing in the third quarter, quarterback Mike Bobo completed a pass to Hunter for an 8-yard gain that lives in UGA folklore.
The AJC’s Tim Tucker wrote Hunter was hit so hard after catching that pass that his helmet flew off. Hunter surged on and gained a few extra yards. The grit he showed super-charged the UGA sideline in an eventual 42-23 victory. Former coach Ray Goff called it a “turning point” afterward.
Robert Edwards scored five touchdowns in that win. It was his breakout performance at running back. Edwards wants Jaden to know about that play.
“He always made the catch but Brice got blindsided and his helmet came off,” said Edwards, who’s now the head football coach at Greene County. “Once he made that play, it fired us all up. You could see the determination on his face to make the first down. Back then they didn’t blow the whistle when your helmet came off. Our sideline erupted when we saw him continue to keep fighting up the field. He even stiff-armed a guy.”
It would go on to be a tough year for UGA football. Both Edwards and Bobo would go down with season-ending injuries. Freshman Hines Ward was plugged in to play QB after the second-string quarterback also went down with a season-ending injury.
UGA finished 6-6 that year. It would become one of only three instances over the last 20 years in which the Bulldogs did not win post at least seven wins in a season. Edwards said that play motivated the team throughout a tough season.
“I’m going to get with Jaden next time I see him and tell him about that play,” Edwards said. “Brice had all the receiving records at UGA for a little while and some plays get overlooked. I’m going to have to show him that play.
“I think his whole mindset about how big of an impact his Dad had on Georgia football would change if he saw that play. That’s a play that should never be overlooked and he needs to know about how much his Dad meant to Georgia because of plays like that. That one play sums up the type of determination his father played with.”
Jaden lists Alabama as his leader, followed by LSU. UGA rounds out the top three, but the Bulldogs still have time to make up ground as Hunter is just a junior in high school.
Get to know Jaden Hunter and the Hunter family
Jeff Sentell covers UGA recruiting for AJC.com and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow him on Twitter for the latest on who’s on their way to play Between the Hedges.