Razorbacks Set Sights On Hunter

Torii Hunter, Jr.

Both the Arkansas football and baseball programs are recruiting Prosper (Texas) standout Torii Hunter, Jr. (6-1, 175, 4.48), who took in a Diamond Hog game this spring and who has plans to be in Fayetteville for the Razorbacks' Elite Football Camp on July 21st.

Because of his own Connie Mack baseball games, Prosper (Texas) two-sport star Torii Hunter didn't get to watch a lot of Arkansas' baseball action at the College World Series.

But Hunter (6-1, 175, 4.48) did keep up with the Razorbacks, who battled their way to a third-place finish nationally in college baseball's premier event.

"I got to watch a little, but my own games always seem to be going on at the same time," Hunter said Sunday night. "But they had a great run at the end of the season and have a great program. I could definitely see myself playing there."

Arkansas is recruiting Hunter – the son of Pine Bluff native and current Anaheim Angels outfielder Torii Hunter, Sr., – for both football and baseball.

Hunter, who has a 3.7 grade point average and wants to major in engineering, already has a 27 on ACT and score over 1,600 on his SAT.

"It's my goal to play both sports in college if I could," Hunter said. "I know it would be a tough double, but is something I would really like to do and probably what I am going to do. Arkansas is one of the schools that is okay with me doing both."

Hunter – recently invited to Nike's prestigious The Opening football camp in Beaverton, Ore. - had 16 scholarship offers from schools such as Arkansas, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, TCU and Stanford.

He had 40 catches for 701 yards and 12 touchdowns for the Eagles during his junior gridiron season while playing on the same team as his brothers Darius McClinton-Hunter and Monshadrik "Money" Hunter.

"Arkansas is certainly high on my list because they have great football and baseball teams that finished in the top five nationally this season," Hunter said. "I could certainly see myself catching passes and playing center field as a Razorback."

Of course, the school will then have to sweat out whether Hunter would be taken in the June 2013 Major League Baseball draft.

"That is certainly something that I would have to consider, especially if I was drafted really high," Hunter said. "But I am not thinking about that, just thinking about having a great senior year and figuring out where I would go to college."

His dad signed with Arkansas before being taken by Minnesota in the 20th round of the 1993 amateur draft.

Torii, Sr., made his MLB debut on Aug. 22, 1997 and was with the Twins until moving on to Anaheim in 2008.

"My dad has been a great dad and I used to think that some of the coaches were just recruiting me because of him," Hunter said. "But as we have gone along I have been able to tell that the coaches are offering me because of my athletic ability and not my name."

Hunter, who is in Arizona playing with the D-Bat Mustangs in a Connie Mack Regional tournament, has plans to be in Fayetteville for Arkansas' Elite Grid Camp on July 21.

"That's my plan right now and I am looking forward to being there in Fayetteville and working out with the Arkansas coaches," Hunter said. "There's a chance that I might have a baseball tournament if we were to get to the nationals, but I'm pretty sure I am going to be able to make it."

Hunter, who mom and uncle both went to college at Arkansas, took in a Razorback baseball game this spring and plans to take in a football one this fall.

"The crowd at the baseball game was great and I know the football one is just like it," Hunter said. "They have great support and that means a lot."

He is looking forward to being at The Opening, which happens at Nike World Headquarters July 5-8.

Only 150 players are invited to The Opening, which features instruction from some of Nike's top NFL players.

"I am definitely going because that is like a once-in-a-lifetime deal," Hunter said. "I'm really honored to have been selected and really looking forward to it."

As far as when he makes a decision on a college, Hunter says that is up in the air right now.

"I am just trying to concentrate on baseball right now and go to these football camps," Hunter said. "I haven't really started thinking about when I might make my decision, but I just know when it feels right."





Torii Hunter, Jr.

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