STILLWATER — Kendall Hunter has chased down the records of a Hall of Fame running back before. As a senior at John Tyler High School in Tyler, Texas, Hunter took the field in the final regular-season game of his career and rushed past the school rushing record held by Earl Campbell.
Of course, to anticipate Oklahoma State's spark plug back to approach the numbers — game, season or career — posted by the likes of Barry Sanders and Thurman Thomas would be fanatical expectations. But Hunter seems to have the tools to build a rather impressive legacy at Oklahoma State as he prepares to play the 13th game of his college career when the Cowboys host Missouri State today at noon inside Boone Pickens Stadium. "Kendall's got two things that are very important to playing at this level, and that you see in the guys that go on to play at the next level,” said coach Mike Gundy, who played with both Sanders and Thomas. "First of all, he's very durable. The second being that he's not really concerned with his personal statistics. He's more concerned about the team. "He has the ability to make you miss, and he can get in the open field and run away from you. He's probably faster than what most people think.” With that, we could be witnessing the blossoming of OSU's next great running back, even if Hunter never surpasses some of OSU's elite backs, like Sanders or Thomas.
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How Hunter comparesHere's how Kendall Hunter's first two games of the season compare to the first two games as starters for Oklahoma State's two legendary running backs, Thurman Thomas and Barry Sanders: •Thurman Thomas, 1984 Game 1 vs. Missouri: 30 carries, 101 yards, 2 TDs Game 2 vs. Iowa State: 21 carries, 54 yards, 0 TDs Totals: 51 carries, 155 yards, 2 TDs •Barry Sanders, 1988 Game 1 vs. Miami, Ohio: 18 carries, 178 yards, 2 TDs Game 2 vs. Texas A&M: 20 carries, 157 yards, 2 TDs Totals: 38 carries, 335 yards, 4 TDs •Kendall Hunter, 2008 Game 1 at Washington State: 23 carries, 107 yards, 2 TDs Game 2 vs. Houston: 22 carries, 210 yards, 2 TDs Totals: 45 carries, 317 yards, 4 TDs