The Travis Hunter Notebook

SI All-American took in one of America's top playmakers over the weekend
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NORCROSS, Ga. -- Suwannee (Ga.) Collins Hill High School do-it-all athlete Travis Hunter amassed 1,966 all-purpose yards, primarily at wide receiver, while helping the Eagles to a 7A state championship appearance in 2020. The Florida State commitment was just as good on defense, picking off eight passes while working as a cornerback.

Hunter's skillset was unmatched in Georgia's most challenging classification, yet he was only a junior. The rising-senior has since dominated the 7-on-7circuit this off-season, and over the weekend, the SI All-American team had a chance to see him compete at the Annual Shut' Em Down 7v7 held at Greater Atlanta Christian. 

The following notebook is comprised of everything you need to know about Hunter's day dominating some of the top 7v7 teams in the Southeast.

The Buzz

Hunter played with Cam Newton's C1N Gold team, which ultimately won the championship at the end of the day. Still, even before pool play started, Hunter's name was already buzzing in the crowd during warmups as he worked threw routes on air, making one one-handed catch after another. Throughout the day, as he wowed on the field, with new teams rolling in for pool play, Hunter's name continued to create a buzz, as players wanted to know who he was, how they could stop him, etc. 

The answer to the latter was no, as he dominated every game of the event.

On the Field

The buzz around Hunter's name indeed translated over to the field. C1N Gold opened the day against MTAG Elite with a 34-0 victory. Hunter caught the first three passes of the day to set the tone for his day of dominance, and he added multiple touchdown catches, a consistent theme for the day. A theme that was so consistent throughout the day, one bystander jested the C1N Gold coaching staff about throwing the ball to Hunter so often by saying, "throw it to someone other than the created player."

It would be trivial to recount each instance of Hunter putting a defensive back on skates or making a ridiculous leaping catch; instead, we will talk about what makes him the exceptional prospect he is.

For Hunter, it starts at the line of scrimmage with his quick twitch ability. His motor is relentless, but when you couple it with the way he works coming off the line of scrimmage, it is the ideal combo for a receiver. It's the catch is while Hunter has amazed as a receiver at the prep level. He has all intentions of being a cornerback at the college level, and he'll remind you of that. He plays both positions at the high school level, but he primarily lined up at receiver Saturday except for when it was crunch time. Still, it is easy to see why the transition would be seamless for him. He is lean at this stage of his career, but he displays the requisite length to play the cornerback position on a 6'1" frame. 

Hunter is naturally fluid in his hips, with unmatched foot and lateral quickness allowing him to run past any defender that lined up against him yesterday, but it also should allow him to shut down receivers as a cornerback, which he did on a routine basis during his junior season. All of the skills mentioned above go a long way in setting Hunter apart on the field, but another part of the athlete's game will allow him to play either position he wants at the college level -- at a high level. 

His leaping ability. 

Hunter is liking watching a dunker on the basketball court. You hold your breath to see what he is going to do next. He glides above the competition, and while they are on the way down, Hunter is still soaring. He has natural ball skills, and his instincts as a wide receiver suggest he will easily translate to a ball-hawking defender at the college level.

In His Own Words

With so much domination at the wide receiver position, one would think Hunter would want to play the position at the next level, but that is not the case. It is not because that is not an option, its simply because that's not where his heart is, much like Florida State, which is why he has remained committed to the Seminoles despite consistent, strong pushes from others.

"I am going to play corner," he said. "That is my position. That is where my heart is. I can shut down the whole side of the field, so I am going to go do it."

While a natural athlete, Hunter has still put in work to make it to where he is.

"I got a lot stronger and a lot faster," he said, "I can get open now. I am different; I can play both sides of the ball."

Hunter has been committed to Florida State for more than a year now, and much like playing cornerback, Tallahassee is where his heart is.

"The coaches. I trust in the coaches," he said. "Coach (Marcus) Woodson is like my best friend, my uncle, my father, all of those in one."

Can he and the class of 2022 begin to bring FSU 'back?'

"It would mean a lot when I go there," Hunter said. "If we get a national championship, it would mean my class helped build them back to that."

We have discussed what kind of player we view Hunter as, but we wanted to give him the opportunity to tell everyone what kind of player FSU is getting in him.

"They are getting a dawg. It's simple—a dawg."

SI All-American's Dale Dowden contributed to this feature

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