Recently I conducted an interview with Ralph Hunter, FS/CB, from Virginia Union. Hunter, who has been an all conference selection for two consecutive seasons, has played his way into the top 10 free safeties available for the 2002 draft. He's the all-time black college football interception leader with 21 career INT's. He's got great size and speed(6'2", 200, 4.33) and he will post a vertical of at least 42". He's one of the best pure athletes in the country. He's a member of the the National Honor Society with a 3.4 GPA in Criminal Justice and is also a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. He was a pleasure to speak with and he deserves every bit of the exposure he receives. Below is some info on Ralph, followed by our interview.
Name: Ralph Hunter
School: Virginia Union
40 Time: 4.33
Draft Status: Possible top 100-125 pick. Could hear his name in the 4th-5th round area and may elevate higher after workouts. Great upside.
M.G.: What kind of person will an NFL team be getting when they draft you?
R.H.: They'll get a hard worker, a man with morals and of high character, very coachable, and a leader. I've's always believed that you need to be a good listener in order to be a good leader.
M.G.: What have you hear about your draft status?
R.H.: I've heard that I could go in the late round area, but I'm not worrying about where I am drafted, I just want to play.
M.G.: What are your plans after your NFL career is over?
R.H.: I want to go back to school and get my Master's Degree in Sports Leadership and become a defensive coordinator at the collegiate of pro level.
M.G.: What are your biggest strengths?
R.H.: My ability to play both CB and FS, my jam skills, and my closing speed.
M.G.: Do you have any weaknesses that you'd like to inprove on?
R.H.: I'd like to improve my tackling. I feel I can be more aggressive in that area.
M.G.: Are you physically ready for the NFL?
R.H.: Most definately! I know I will perform at a high level. I feel my best football is still ahead of me. Once I get some good coaching, I will explode.
M.G.: Are you mentally ready as well?
R.H.: I've never been in this position before, so I don't really know. I hear all of the stories, but I am a mentally strong person so I'm sure I'll be fine. I know I need to learn alot, but I am a competitor and I love challenges, and the NFL will be my biggest challenge yet.
M.G.: Do you feel you've been overlooked because you play at a Division II Black College?
R.H.: I think I've been overlooked alot. I saw the Blesto report on myself and I couldn't believe how low I was rated. I just need to get my name out there more and I'm sure teams will take notice. I've accepted and invitation to the Hula Bowl, so that should help me alot.
M.G.: There are some people who say that you're a better athlete than you are a football player. What can you do to change their minds?
R.H.: I was blessed with the ability to play football and my athleticism is something that I use to my advantage when I am on the field. I haven't gotten proper coaching yet. Once I get a handle on the proper techniques used in the NFL, I'm going to be unstoppable. I have yet to peak as a football player, so I have the upside the NFL wants.
M.G.: Do you feel you're best suited as a CB or a FS in the NFL?
R.H.: I can play either, but I'm a CB. I played FS at Virginia Union to help the team. I'm a team player. Once I get to the NFL, i think my skills ar ebest suited for CB, but I can play FS as well. My size and speed is perfect for CB, but my tackling isn't where I want it to be yet.
M.G.: How do you feel you rank against the bigger named CB's and FS's in the draft?
R.H.: I don't get caught up in what anyone else does. They're all good players, but I can only contol Ralph Hunter. I know what i can do and I know I'll be a good NFL player. I'm hungry. I've been overlooked and now I want to prove that I can play football.
M.G.: It's been a pleasure talking to you Ralph! You're a great kid and I wish you all the luck in the world!
R.H.: Thanks Matt! I really appreciate the opportunity!