SUWANEE, Ga. - With SI All-American’s No. 1 ranked player performing well on Friday night, it was good to see him play live. The Florida State commitment did not disappoint.
Travis Hunter is not the normal high school football player that just makes a few plays here and there. He’s proven to be capable of making several defenders miss during one play and score a touchdown that other high school football players would be taken down at the line of scrimmage.
He’s also shown over the past two seasons that he can high point a pass in a crowd and bring it down for a score. He’s one of the most explosive high school football players in recent memory.
That’s also why defending 7A Champion Grayson played different forms of cloud coverage and favoring a safety to his side of the field last night. Ironically, that actually worked out to Hunter and Collins Hill’s favor.
Was Hunter frustrated with the ploys by Grayson to slow him down? Yes. He was communicating with his coaching staff, emphatically mind you, for much of the game. Hunter wanted the football more.
A lot more.
That’s the type of competitor this man is. Still, with Grayson playing a soft zone and keeping plays in front of them, Collins Hill smashed them with power runs and short passes to a bevvy of receivers.
The spread-it-around approach worked, and Collins Hill walked away with a 38-0 victory. Here are a few more details.
Collins Hill has a plethora of talented skill players. While the attempts to slow Hunter down worked to a degree, other players were simply open all night long. Keep in mind, Sam Horn is the quarterback for Collins Hill. He’s headed to Missouri to play for the Tigers after this season concludes.
He saw opportunities all over the field, and he took them. Sometimes he took the football and just ran with it. Horn even had a 37 yard run himself. During every play that another player caught a pass, that play was impacted by Hunter.
It’s not often that a high school receiver impacts a game like that. That’s what Hunter can do, however, and it was evident for the entire game.
Big Play Moment
There was one play in which Hunter absolutely made a great catch. It was a deep corner route that Horn threw towards him in a position to go and get it. That’s exactly what Hunter did.
A quick fake acting like he was heading towards the post, then boom! He exploded towards the corner. The ball was waiting for him on the outside edge of the end zone. Hunter caught the pass and toe tapped for the score. 7-0 Collins Hill.
That 23 yard touchdown was his longest of the night with Grayson playing such soft coverage and having so many talented athletes on defense themselves. Still, it showed Hunter’s ability to make a play at any moment. Kudos to Horn for the throw, too.
The most unique catch that Hunter made was actually a relatively short pass by horn. Talented safety Michael Daugherty of Grayson was playing underneath zone coverage. Hunter ran past him and hooked up in the zone. That’s when Horn fired a pass in Hunter’s direction.
Daugherty deflected the pass and it went towards Hunter, but it was still moving fast and it came off to Hunter’s left side. With cat-like reflexes, Hunter snagged the pass that quite frankly was a few inches from being picked off.
That particular catch showed just how quick and accurate Hunter’s hands can be. Few high school or even college players would make that catch.
A Defensive Mentality
Late in the game after the winner had long since been decided, Grayson threw a look pass. It’s just a simple turn by the quarter and a lateral throw to the wide receiver near the line of scrimmage. The objective is to get the football to the wide receiver as quickly as possible to allow him a chance to make a play. Hunter took that play away immediately and emphatically.
As soon as the football arrived, Hunter’s speed and aggressiveness allowed him to drive into the ball carrier and push him back. It was more than a tackle. It was a defining moment for how the entire game went.
He’s the catalyst for Collins Hill. While not the biggest player, he did prove he can be physical on that play. He also showed his toughness throughout the game as well.
Earlier in the game, a few short passes saw Grayson rally to the football with several players bringing down Hunter. Just good defense, and they certainly made sure Hunter knew he got hit.
Did not matter to Hunter. He just flipped the football to the referee and away he went. That next-play mentality is one of toughness. Oftentimes, highly athletic wide receivers and cornerbacks alike do like taking hits and it causes a lot of issues as the other team will get in their head. It takes the talented player out of their game. Hunter did not allow that to happen. He was dialed into the game, play by play.
With the way Hunter received attention from the Grayson defense, the offensive coaching staff used his overall talents as a decoy and added some trickery, too.
Horn threw a pass to Hunter behind the line of scrimmage and behind his original position on the gridiron, and then headed out to his left. Hunter took a few additional steps to his right and then turned and threw a pass back to Horn. Check out the play. It’s just an example of how a team can utilize Hunter’s all-around skills.
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