USC Gamecocks Football

New Gamecock Alex Huntley ‘makes everything fun,’ could have immediate impact at USC

How Hammond’s Alex Huntley got the nickname ‘Boogie’

Hammond sophomore defensive lineman Alex Huntley explains how he got his nickname.
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Hammond sophomore defensive lineman Alex Huntley explains how he got his nickname.

It would be easy for Hammond coach Erik Kimrey to talk at length about the athletic exploits of Alex Huntley.

After all, at 6-foot-4, 285 pounds, Huntley, is a force for the Skyhawks’ defense and one of the top defensive linemen in the country.

The rising senior committed to South Carolina on Saturday and Kimrey knows Huntley could make an impact when he steps on USC’s campus during his freshman year.

But Kimrey knows it won’t just be on the field that Huntley makes his mark with the Gamecocks. Huntley can be just as impactful off of it, as Kimrey has witnessed first-hand at Hammond since Huntley was on a visit to the school during his eighth grade year.

Huntley is a larger than life figure at Hammond but has stayed grounded despite the lofty accolades and college coaches constantly at the school to see him and teammate Jordan Burch. It wouldn’t be odd to see Huntley right in the middle of the student section cheering at Skyhawks basketball games.

Huntley was recently voted as the senior class president and Kimrey points out that two years ago Hammond’s class president went on to Harvard and roomed with President Obama’s daughter.

Kimrey said Huntley could have a future in politics and some of his commitment video showed scenes from when he was at the SC State House for when Hammond was invited for winning the state title.

“I think Boogie (Huntley’s) will have a 10-year impact on the culture here at Hammond,” Kimrey said. “When a fifth grader walks in the weight room and sees Boogie working harder than anyone there and then he comes up and talks to the fifth grader and spends time with him. That goes a long way for kids who idolize and look up to him. Those kind of qualities are rare for an athlete of his caliber.

“He’s got an infectious personality and has embraced every opportunity that has been given to him. He has played five different sports (football, baseball, basketball, sporting clays, track). He has been rewarding to watch and I get a little emotional thinking about him and what he has accomplished. He has become like family and I am excited that I can bring my family and watch him play college football.”

Huntley also isn’t afraid of a challenge. Kimrey recalls a moment in his philosophy/religion class when Huntley got into a disagreement with some of his classmates who said he couldn’t dunk a basketball.

Kimrey gave Huntley three chances to dunk and if that happened the class would have a free day outside. Huntley delivered and threw one down.

“He makes everything fun,” Kimrey said. “Our practices are fun because of his energy. He has such a tremendous impact on every practice that whatever he does, that’s how the team goes.”

On the field, Kimrey thinks Huntley won’t be a spectator long when he gets to USC, although he won’t be able to enroll early because Hammond doesn’t offer block scheduling and he has the same classes. But with the proximity of Hammond to USC, he will likely be able to visit the campus often in the spring.

Huntley is coming off a year in which he had 48 tackles and seven sacks. But Kimrey has even bigger expectations for his senior season.

“He has transformed his body and is faster than he has ever been,” Kimrey said. “He has a quick twitch and is an absolute monster on the football field. He will have an immediate impact and play as a freshman at USC.”