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The Cardinal Countdown: 50 Days Until Kickoff

Halfway there....

USA Today

#50 Khalil Hunter

Class: Senior

Ht/Wt: 6-4/300

Position: Offensive Line

Hometown: Orlando, FL

Twitter: @Ball4Chelsea

Thoughts: Hunter was an early enrollee last year (January) out of JUCO whom many expected to walk into the program, perform well in the Spring and Fall and ultimately win out the starting job at guard. Well, that didn’t happen. So, as a counter-point to my own “bringing in 4-5 JUCO’s a year isn’t always a bad thing” narrative one could point to this as Exhibit A. While I’ve never had a personal conversation with Coach Klenakis one would assume Hunter was brought in to specifically fill the void of a departing Senior back in 2015. He had experience, had two years of eligibility left, and appeared to be ready to compete. Meanwhile, Klenakis could go get a freshman, work with him for two seasons (which may include a redshirt) and still have three years of eligibility left in a solid player once Hunter graduated.  As I said before…that didn’t happen. So we went with Plan B, which was a combination of Skylar Lacy and Kiola Mahoni. While many, myself included, liked the progression of Mahoni late last season he wasn’t head and shoulders above everyone else at the RG position, he was simply the best available.

As Spring ball started the coaches had Khalil moving around some, including playing a little tackle which they experimented with last season as well. That experiment went…not great, and when Mahoni experienced a finger injury, Khalil was brought in to replace him at his more natural position (guard) with the first team. I saw some short videos and read a few articles (which pretty much makes me an expert) during the Spring that said Khalil was really holding his own with the first team and could be expected to push Mahoni in the fall for the starting position at guard and if nothing else eat into his playing time, which was exciting to hear. Not "you just won a million dollars" exciting, but exciting none the less.

Hunter is a physical presence up front who may not be the biggest guy on the line but has the strength to compete. In the Spring he threw up 420lb on the bench (beat out by only the man-beast DeAngelo Brown who benched 510lb!) and also showed off his athleticism with a 32” vertical. While those attributes are impressive there was no denying Khalil’s biggest contribution to the team came in his MVP performance at the Music City Bowl….you don’t remember that? No, no, no, not the game…the ‘Hot Chicken Eating Contest’ held earlier in the week. Our friends at Cardinal Authrity have the video if that sort of thing tickles your fancy, but if you have 17 minutes to watch a seven month old chicken eating contest video, well…….maybe pick up a hobby or two.

I look for Khalil to push Mahoni this fall and even if he doesn't land the starting spot he'll be a solid piece of the rotation in the trenches.

Sweet Tweet:

I think everyone has at least one miserable DMV story. Here’s mine….

Walk into the DMV late one morning, see it’s fairly empty, grab my number and notice I’m only 5 or 6 away from being called. Next 15-20 minutes a flood of people come in, had to be 20-30 deep. My number gets called and after talking with the lady for 10 minutes or so I realize my insurance card wasn’t the newest card. She tells me “no problem, you can go check your car for paperwork but if you don’t have it just call the insurance company, have them fax over a new copy. When it comes in I’ll call you back up so you don’t have to wait.” Sounds wonderful. Of course I can’t find the paper in my car, so I call my insurance and they say they’ll fax it over in the next 5 minutes.

I walk back inside and wait patiently…stalking the fax machine anytime something spits out. 5 minutes go by, then 10, then 15….nothing. I step outside and call my insurance back. They apologize saying they were having issue with the fax machine (i.e. somebody forgot to send it) but it’s on its way now. I walk back in and low and behold a few minutes later I see a fax come in. I look for my cashier to get her attention and……she’s gone to lunch. There I sit, with no cashier, and more importantly…….no number. When I finally walked over and pulled the tab I believe they were about 45 people in front of me. I may have let a couple expletives go, and possible a tear or two.

As we reach the halfway point of the countdown lets release all of our pain and anguish on this side of “the hill”. Tomorrow we start the downhill journey towards Septemebr 1st and it’s going to be nothing but positive thoughts. I know there are some painful DMV stories out there. What do ya got?