Rutgers football’s biggest weakness in 2018 was their passing attack yet the Scarlet Knights inked only one wide receiver in the early signing period. Luckily, Northwest Mississippi Community College’s Monterio Hunt gave a verbal pledge earlier this week and plans to sign in January. Although high school prospects are limited to a three day early signing period from Dec 19-21, JUCOs can sign until Jan 15.
Thank God for this one officially committed to Rutgers University‼️ ⚔️ pic.twitter.com/4SRZ7uB2b8— Monterio Hunt (@HuntMonterio) December 20, 2018
Monterio (6’2”, 185 lbs.) participated in track and basketball in high school while playing a number of positions on the gridiron including wide receiver, running back, linebacker, defensive back, and even punter. Though multi-sport athletes are often under recruited, Hunt was a three-star prospect out of Walnut, Mississippi earning first-team All-State honors before selecting Marshall over offers including the SEC’s Mississippi State, Memphis, and Southern Miss. He saw action in 12 games as a freshman for the Thundering Herd, mostly on special teams before deciding Marshall wasn’t the right for for him. This time around, Rutgers gets the nod over three of the same schools that were hot on the trail two years ago, Kentucky, Mississippi State, and Tennessee-Martin.
Coach Ash has indicated he has no intention of recruiting junior college players unless he thinks they will be on the two-deep and play immediately. Monterio He arrives at Rutgers to a wide receiver room that has 12 scholarship players returning (including holder Cole Murphy) and Isaiah Washington who signed Wednesday. So there will be a lot of competition for reps in spring camp and Saturdays next fall. I like the signing because Rutgers may need to add difference makers at some positions, but at wide receiver simply being a reliable route runner with sure hands would be an improvement. The WRs combined for two TD in 2017, and just one in 2018, so it won’t take Randy Moss walking through the door to boost those figures.
Hunt is a fluid athlete with excellent balance, so you can see why he has success at multiple positions and different sports. This shows itself in his ability to run crisp routes without significant effort and also capability to carry the ball past defenders with basic cuts. Against press coverage at his current level of play, Monterio does a good job with his hands to get an arm free for back shoulder throws. If defenses don’t press him, Hunt shows an ability to catch quick timing slants and curl routes for easy yardage, something Rutgers desperately needs.
Monterio is neither overwhelmingly fast or quick, so he has to be strong enough to defeat press coverage at the Big Ten level or may not be effective. Big Ten DBs will be bigger and stronger so if Hunt struggles a comparison like Keith Stroud comes to mind, where Stroud had great success at lower levels, but not RU. If Hunt can create space, he’ll be more like a Tim Wright in his ability to use his frame to shield defenders but with hands of Quron Pratt. Rutgers also has struggled to identify a wide receiver to make plays out of bunch formations and other simple routes, so it’s possible Hunt is the best fit for that role as well even if he struggles against tight press.
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Hunt has three years to play two. Welcome to the banks Monterio!