Phillip Hunt

KIRK PENTON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:47 AM ET

Phillip Hunt was known as the "QB Hunter" at the University of Houston.

Joe Kemp, a quarterback at Tulane University, became the Hunted in a Conference USA game last November.

Hunt, now a rookie Bomber defensive end, didn't hear a whistle that fateful night, and Kemp paid the price.

Hunt spotted his prey, blew past a blocker who heard the whistle and drilled Kemp. The collision, available for viewing on YouTube from a variety of angles, snapped Kemp's collarbone and knocked him out for the rest of the season.

"That was an accident, by the way. I couldn't hear," Hunt said. "That was a crazy situation. If I could take it back, I'd take it back. That got me in the spotlight for a little while."

Hunt didn't get credit for a sack on the play, but it was one of the few in which he didn't. The Fort Worth, Texas, native had a whopping 14 sacks last fall in his senior season with the Cougars and got an invitation to the Cleveland Browns camp as an outside linebacker as a result.

That didn't work out, however, so he decided to come north to Winnipeg last month.

Normally when a player arrives in Canada for the first time, he spends a while getting used to the game. Season-ending injuries to Gavin Walls and Fred Perry, however, have forced Hunt to become a full-time starter already.

"I expected just to contribute to the team in any way possible, any way they needed me," he said. "I thought it was going to be special teams and just here and there on defence, but with things that happened the way they did, I lucked up and had a great opportunity to play where I'm playing right now."

The 23-year-old recorded his first CFL sack last week in Hamilton against the Tiger-Cats, and more are surely to come. It goes to show that hard work can go a long way.

"I grew up in the inner city," Hunt said. "A lot of violence, drugs and just a lot of negativity going on. But luckily I was able to come out of there and make something positive out of it."

Poor Joe Kemp would probably disagree.

kirk.penton@sunmedia.ca


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