Punter Mason Hunt becoming a weapon for Southern Miss
HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - It’s probably the most unique position on the football field but as Ray Guy showed the world, the punter can be a weapon.
Senior Mason Hunt has turned into such for Southern Miss.
A longtime soccer player, Hunt took the suggestion of a coach at Stone County High School and tried kicking for the football team.
But it wasn’t until he got to Mississippi Gulf Coast when Hunt honed in on the art of punting.
“For me punting was more of like the consistency and discipline of I have to do the same thing over and over and over again if I want to be a critical part in the game,” Hunt said.
Hunt is averaging 43 yards per punt this season, pinning a career-best 25 punts inside the 20-yard line.
He compares the position to another sport entirely – golf – where accuracy, discipline and repetition are all key.
“Playing the part of the returner as well,” Hunt said. “Most of these returners, especially in college, they line straight down the field. So, if you can hit it between the numbers and out of bounds every time, it makes it much harder for them having to sprint over there, especially if you create enough hang time for your guys to get down there as well.”
With everything Hunt’s learned about the position in just a few years, he marvels at how Guy made the job look effortless.
Named to the Ray Guy Award Preseason Watch, Hunt said it’s an honor to represent Southern Miss where the greatest punter of all time cut his teeth.
“That’s the first videos I actually started watching,” Hunt said. “I liked how pretty much simple he was. He didn’t do too much extra, he stayed simple, stayed short and explosive all the way through it. Probably not going to meet his standards for sure that he came through with ‘cause he wasn’t just a great punter, just a great athlete, period. If I can be as close as I can to him then I know I’m going to make so much progress throughout my career.”
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