Oct. 3, 2000
Growing up a Cougar fan, watching his brother go away to college, dreaming about playing in the Pac-10, those were some of the things that drew sophomore offensive lineman Tyler Hunt to the Palouse.
"It's an honor to play in the Pac-10, it was one of my dreams as a kid," the 280 pound Tacoma resident said. "I never thought I'd be playing for WSU, but I knew I'd be playing in the Pac-10 somewhere."
After redshirting the 1998 season, Hunt played in three games in 1999, including the season-ending win at Hawaii. After a football intensive summer with the other players who chose to stay in Pullman, Hunt has earned himself a starting role on the Cougars young offensive line.
"I felt like I needed to get better," Hunt explained as his reasons for training in Pullman this summer. "As a young player I needed to get stronger, get quicker, anything I could do to get better. I had to sacrifice the summer, that's what it took."
And that sacrifice paid off, moving Hunt's name to the top of the depth chart in the season opener.
"It's exciting," the Wilson High graduate said, "coming in I never imagined starting as a sophomore."
Part of a young offensive line that only included one upperclassman on the starting lineup against Stanford, Hunt realizes the work cut out for him and his teammates this season.
"We're a young group, but I think we can get a lot of things accomplished even though we are young," said Hunt who did not allow a sack in his senior year at Wilson. "It's the same 100-yard field everyone played on in high school, so it's just about coming together and working as a unit."
A humanities major, with an emphasis in English, fine arts and music, Hunt is leaving his options open as to what will come after Cougar football. When not on the football field at WSU, he is a social member of Lambda Kai Alpha, where his brother, a Cougar grad, was formerly president.
In Hunt's decision to play football as well as to come to WSU, he gives his brother a lot of credit. "My brother went [to WSU] a couple of years ago and I came up and visited a lot in high school," Hunt said. "I just liked the atmosphere, the college town and I like the WSU football tradition."
The Cougar tradition on the football field was a part of growing up for Hunt, born in Washington.
"I grew up watching the Cougars," Hunt said. "It just seems like they've always been the underdog and I kind of like being the underdog. No one really expects too much from you and then when you win it opens their eyes. I like that feeling."
Part of a starting offensive line that averages 292 pounds, Hunt has always played with the big kids.
"I've been playing [football] since the third grade, I was on the fifth grade team," Hunt said.
After a tough season-opening loss to Stanford, Hunt still has high expectations for 2000. Included in those season goals Hunt said he plans to "contribute in all 12 games and win as many as we can."