James Hunter (American football)
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|Born:||March 8, 1954|
|Died:||August 2, 2010(aged 56)|
|NFL draft||1976 / Round: 1 / Pick: 10|
James Edward Hunter (March 8, 1954 – August 2, 2010) was an American football defensive back who played for the Detroit Lions in the National Football League. Hunter was the 10th player picked in the 1976 NFL Draft. He led the Lions in interceptions in 1976, 1977, and 1980. Hunter is 7th all-time for interceptions in Lions history. His son, Javin Hunter, played for Notre Dame and was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens.
Nicknamed "Hound Dog" for his long-striding running ability, he made an instant impact in the NFL. The 6-foot-2, 195-pound cornerback led the Lions with seven pass interceptions and was runner-up to future Pro Football Hall of Famer Mike Haynes as NFL Rookie Defensive Player of the Year. He got his first start in 1976 at free safety, subbing for another Lions’ great, Dick Jauron who had broken his leg. He shifted to left cornerback in 1977 playing alongside another future Pro Football Hall of Famer, Lem Barney. In his seven seasons with the Lions (1976–82), Hunter led the Lions in three seasons in pass interceptions (1976, ’77 and ’80) and had 27 career interceptions. He played in 86 Lions games before a neck injury sustained late in the 1982 season ended his career.
On November 14th, 2019, it was announced that Hunter would be part of the 2020 Black College Football Hall of Fame induction class.
- Inducted into African-American Sports Hall of Fame (1996)
- Inducted into Southwestern Athletic Conference Hall of Fame (SWAC) (1997)
- Slated to be inducted into the Black College Football Hall of Fame in 2020
- "James Hunter". pro-football-reference.com. Retrieved 2008-07-03.
- "James Hunter". nfl.com. Retrieved 2008-07-03.
- "1976 NFL Player Draft". databasefootball.com. Archived from the original on 2007-10-15. Retrieved 2008-07-03.
- Thomas, Steve (2010-11-27). ""Another One Bites the Dust" by the Lions' Jimmy "Spiderman" Allen". Detroit Athletic Co. Retrieved 2013-10-23.
Inducted into African-American Sports Hall of Fame (1996)
Inducted into Southwestern Athletic Conference Hall of Fame (SWAC) (1997)
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