A hearty congratulations to me for remembering that I started this series, followed by me getting motivated enough to execute the second round. The alignment taking place before you is something akin to a rare eclipse, but not the kind that will burn out your retinas if you stare at it for too long (though nausea is a possible side effect here).
If you missed the initial version of Get To Know Your Walk-Ons, first, PAY ATTENTION FROM NOW ON, and second, you have the opportunity to rectify that mistake by clicking here and learning more about quarterback Drew Davis. However, if clicking that link is too exhausting (I mean, your mouse arrow could be way over by the scroll bar, plus reading? UGH, right?), what I'm attempting to do here is to get to know the players who work just as hard as scholarship players, but can only be identified by family and friends.
Oh, and then there's the whole thing about them getting pummeled daily by said scholarship players. But I'm sure it's a brotherly pummeling that ends with them being picked up and slapped on the helmet or butt while they check to ensure all body parts are still functioning as they should.
How this works is I'll use a random number generator, which will give me a random number, and I'll find the walk-on on the Ole Miss roster closest to that number. Today's random number has led us to #84 Hunter Thurley, a junior from Nashville, Tennessee.
Who is Hunter Thurley?
That sounds like some horrible question he'll be asked at a job interview in a few years (note: looking for a job is THE WORST EVER). It will be followed by Hunter assuming the person interviewing him is insane (they are; no sane person ever asks a question like that), then an answer that rambles long enough that the interviewer gives a slight nod of the head and his or her eye intensity reduces by a few degrees, which will be interpreted by Hunter's brain as a sign that he may now land this plane.
Anyway, steering this thing back in a reasonable direction, Hunter came to Ole Miss in 2014 after transferring from Wofford. As a member of the Terriers, he played defense in all 11 games in 2013, a season in which Wofford was sitting pretty at 5-2, then in a tribute to David Cutcliffe, lost its last four to finish 5-6.
His best game at Wofford came against Southern Conference foe Presbyterian, in which he produced 3 tackles, 1.5 tackles for a loss, 1 sack, 1 interception, AND scored a touchdown off of that interception. You know who did really well against Presbyterian the following year?
Coincidence? I THINK NOT.
Has Hunter Thurley played in a game?
He has not, but with tight end depth behind Evan Engram best described as I AM NERVOUS, that opportunity could be there this year. Of course, that assumes Jeremy Liggins doesn't morph into a hybrid super tackle/tight end where he plays both positions at the SAME TIME.
What is Hunter Thurley's role on the team?
"Great catch, Evan."
"Evan, are you getting enough air from me fanning this towel?"
"Wait a second, Evan. Let me step out there and stop all of this traffic for you."
"Why of course this Ajax catfish could be poisoned, Evan. Let me eat it for you."
I'm sure there are other very important things that he actually does, but that's how I imagine it.
Reminder that walk-ons were pretty good in high school
As a senior, all Hunter did was rack up 70 tackles and 7 sacks on defense, then turned around on offense and caught 7 touchdowns on just 9 receptions. The lesson back then was if you wanted a touchdown, THROW IT TO HUNTER THURLEY.
For those efforts, he was selected to play in the East/West Tennessee All-Star game and was a first-team All-State selection by the Tennessee Sports Writers Association. No word if that group loves them some Springsteen, but the answer is yes.
And due to his talent level and superior hand-eye coordination, Hunter also played baseball. In 2011, he managed to hit .368, with 6 home runs and 28 RBIs, which would make him the second-best hitter on the 2015 Atlanta Braves.
Where can we see him this season?
I wasn't sure last time, and I'm still not because I haven't looked it up, but it's possible we could see Hunter on the sideline at some home games. This entire series will run its course before I take the time to find out how many players can dress out for conference and non-conference home games.
Wherever he is on Saturdays, we can be certain he was a part of the team getting ready to SEEK AND DESTROY. And if that entails dedicating his weeks to Evan Engram's safety, a finer endeavor I cannot recall.