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OSU Insider: Kendall Hunter could be a sleeper in draft

By John Helsley, Staff Writer, jhelsey@opubco.com Published: May 10, 2010
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Early NFL Draft projections for 2011 don’t offer much to interest Oklahoma State fans.

While this year’s first round gave them Russell Okung and Dez Bryant, next year gives reason for taking on an outdoors project, like planting a garden.

Forget Mel Kiper’s big board; his list of "5s” — the top five players at every position, spanning some 80 players deep — doesn’t include an Oklahoma State player.

Todd McShay, Kiper’s ESPN pal, put together an early mock Round 1, as well as a group of players to watch, offensive and defensive. Void of Cowboys.

Maybe it’s an accurate assessment. OSU’s roster is young, featuring only 16 total seniors, including a handful of walk-ons.

And yet, the gurus would do good not to sleep on Kendall Hunter.

Spud could be 2011’s C.J. Spiller.

Spiller, the multi-skilled running back from Clemson, rode a reputation of explosive production and potential to the No. 9 pick overall.

And while Hunter doesn’t yet carry such rich stock, he’s a player to remember.

Just remember Hunter’s 2008, which has been diluted by his injury-marred 2009, which is a shame.

In ’08, Hunter posted the nation’s seventh-best rushing average at 119.6 yards a game and earned first-team All-America honors from the Football Writers Association of America. His nine 100-yard rushing games trailed only Heisman Trophy winner Barry Sanders (12) and Heisman runner-up Terry Miller (11) on the single-season list at OSU.