<
>

Hunter decommits from Notre Dame

1/1/2008

ORLANDO -- One of the more impressive players in Orlando at the inaugural Under-Armour All-American game has been defensive tackle Omar Hunter (Buford, Ga.). Hunter confirmed to Scouts Inc.'s Craig Haubert today that he is no longer committed to Notre Dame and is now looking at three schools.

According to Hunter's head coach Jess Simpson, it was a tough call to make a change of heart and had more to do with distance than anything else. Hunter's character meant that he is not one that would easily change face.

"Omar is one of the best players we have had come through Buford High School," Simpson said. "He is probably a better person than a player. He has so much humility and is a great teammate. He is a very unselfish kid and is a whole lot of fun to coach.

"His decommitment has been a real tough thing on him. He was sold on Notre Dame and they did an awesome job of recruiting him. The thing that he told me was that he wanted to be closer to home and a place where his parents can watch him. In the end he just thought in the South was going to be a better fit for him."

For Hunter, it was an early decision, one that may have been made in haste and actually a surprise to him and others close to Hunter at the time.

"I committed to Notre Dame four or five months ago," Hunter said. "I went there on my visit and my intentions were to commit to Michigan. I fell in love with Notre Dame when I was there and I liked the coaching staff and facilities and that won me over."

It was a little more than distance that weighed into his decision, but he is certain he will not be playing for Notre Dame next season.

"Just watching Notre Dame, their style and how they played," Hunter said as reasons for making the switch. "It doesn't really fit with the way I play. I am not really sure about the coaching staff there, I know they are good guys and I love them, but I am not comfortable with the decision I made. I am officially decommitting from Notre Dame."

For now there are three schools in the race, two which are geographically close to Buford.

"I am definitely looking at USC, Florida, and Auburn, those schools that have kept in touch with me," Hunter said. "Those are the schools I am looking at. This dead time I have been looking around and see what I like."

Hunter has been hearing from a few prospects in Orlando committed to the schools from which he's choosing; safety and ESPN's No. 1-rated athlete Will Hill is committed to Florida and defensive end Courtney Upshaw switched his commitment from Auburn to Alabama.

"I talk to Will Hill, he and I got real close and he talks about Florida and he likes it," Hunter said. "I talked to Courtney Upshaw and he was committed to Auburn. He has told me some things about Auburn that will help."

RHunter has only one official visit set up for January, one he will take with Buford teammate and fullback T.J. Pridemore.

"I think I will take an official visit to Florida on January 18th. I don't know what TJ will do, whatever he does I will be proud of him. We played little league ball so we are close," Hunter added.

According to Simpson, wherever Hunter ends up, he will be a very special collegiate player.

"He is that explosive defensive tackle can really burst and can really run," Simpson said. "It is unnatural to see a guy with those things. I just think he is going to be a heck of a football player at the next level."