Watch: Get to know South Carolina commit Alex Huntley
A slimmed-down Alex Huntley hit the field Thursday for the first practice of his senior year.
The Hammond defensive lineman and South Carolina commit shed 15 pounds over the offseason in preparation for his final year of high school.
“I took this on myself,” the 6-foot-4 Huntley said after the Skyahwks concluded their three-hour practice. “In the winter, I weighed 300 pounds; now I’m at 285. I wanted to clean up, trim my body and make me a little quicker.
“I wanted to be a little slimmer, lose a couple pounds because when I get to college it is real easy to put on weight and I wanted to be prepared for that time.”
Hammond coach Erik Kimrey wasn’t surprised that Huntley — whose nickname is Boogie — would take it upon himself to drop the weight. He believes Huntley’s preparation and big-picture mentality are what separates him from most players he coached during his tenure at Hammond.
“Boogie has big goals for his career. He is thinking about next year, three years from now, seven years from now,” said Kimrey, who celebrated his 40th birthday Thursday. “As a coach, you don’t have to say a lot to a guy like that other than, ‘What can I do to help you?’ ”
Huntley said his offseason routine consisted of running two miles each day. The biggest change for him was his nutrition. He said he ate smaller portions to help him and “maxed out on the protein.”
Coaches can already see the benefits of a slimmer Huntley as far as his quickness and play-making ability, Kimrey said. The four-star prospect plays along the defensive line with five-star recruit Jordan Burch in what Kimrey says is the best defensive line in the country.
As a junior, Huntley had 48 tackles, 16 for loss and seven sacks in helping the Skyhawks to their second straight state title. But more than another state title, Kimrey is preaching to Huntley, the school’s student-body president, about how he wants to be remembered when graduates in May.
“What we are talking to Boogie about is his legacy. We feel like he can have a 10-year impact on this school, not just on the athletic side,” Huntley said. “He is everything you want a Hammond kid to be. He is well-rounded, smart, articulate and happens to be a heck of a football player.”
All games are 7:30 p.m. unless noted
Aug. 25 vs. Southern Columbia (Pa.), 2 p.m. (ESPN2)
Aug. 30 vs. Ben Lippen
Sept. 6 at Charlotte Country Day (NC)
Sept. 13 at Pinewood Prep
Sept. 20 at Wilson Hall
Sept. 27 vs. First Baptist
Oct. 4 at Augusta Christian
Oct. 11 vs. Porter-Gaud
Oct. 18 vs. Laurence Manning
Oct. 25 at Cardinal Newman
Nov. 1 vs. Heathwood Hall