James Hunter dies at age 56

Updated: August 2, 2010, 2:27 PM ET
Associated Press

ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- Former Detroit Lions cornerback James Hunter has died.

The team says he died Monday from an apparent heart attack at age 56.

Hunter played for coach Eddie Robinson at Grambling State and was from Silsbee, Texas.

Detroit drafted Hunter with the 10th pick overall in 1976. He had a career-high seven interceptions in his debut season and was NFL Rookie of the Year runner-up behind future Hall of Famer Mike Haynes.

Hunter led the Lions in interceptions in three of his seven seasons with the team and had 27 in his career, which ended because of a neck injury in 1982. He began working for Anheuser-Busch in 1985.

Lions president Tom Lewand says Hunter will be remembered as a "consummate pro -- on and off the field."


Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press