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March 6, 2012

Great catches: Torii Hunter's kids are FB stars

MORE TEXAS TECH: Go to RedRaiderSports.com

It makes sense when you think about it.

The sons of the pro athlete aren't necessarily following in dad's athletic footsteps, but it's obvious they have picked up his greatest attribute: His hands.

Torii Hunter uses his to chase down fly balls in the gap; they have helped him win nine Gold Gloves so far in a 14-year Major League Baseball career.

His sons - Torii Hunter Jr., and Darius Hunter- use theirs to catch passes over the middle and down the sidelines at Proper (Texas) High; they have helped them land Division I offers from Texas Tech as well as other schools.

And catch the eye of Rivals.com Texas analyst Brian Perroni.

"It's clear that both Torii Jr. and Darius are very good athletes," he said. "Torii Jr. is long and lean with plenty of room to grow and does a very good job stretching the field. He does not necessarily have elite speed, but he does a good job of stretching the field. He is consistently able to get behind the defensive backs.

"Darius is more of a slot receiver and plays with a little bit better speed. Whereas Torii Jr. does a great job of getting open deep, Darius is able to find seams in the defense and make things happen after the catch. He can be a pretty dangerous weapon if he catches the ball in space."

Although both brothers are being recruited by Texas Tech, Torii Jr. is more in demand at this point.

"I've got offers from (Oklahoma State), Texas Tech and Arkansas last month," he said. "I've visited Texas Tech, OSU and Baylor's junior days, I just got back from Baylor this past Sunday. This summer I'll be playing a lot of baseball and whenever I'm not doing that I'll try to catch a couple of camps and combines and whatever I can."

Torii Hunter Jr. is one of three Hunter boys seeking a scholarship. While Darius Hunter has a Red Raider offer, Prosper junior outside linebacker Money Hunter, a 6-foot-1, 170-pounder, does not.

"It's not necessary, but it'd be really cool to play with my brothers," Torii Hunter Jr. said. "It'd be nice, but it's not necessary because we all want to experience different things. We don't always have to be together, you know?"

There's a lot to like between Torii Hunter Jr. and Darius Hunter. Both players compare remarkably similar to Red Raiders on the current roster when they were in high school.

At 6-foot-1 and 170 pounds, Torii Hunter Jr. matches up to Shawn Corker with a trade in Corker's size for a little more speed. Torii Hunter Jr. has great catching abilities like Corker, the same running style and the same vertical route running skills.

"My ball skills and my route running I think are what separate me," Torii Hunter Jr. said. "I was able to get open, and even when I wasn't open, I could make the hard catches. So I guess that's what is standing out for recruiters. Most of the time when I go to junior days we talk about me at outside receiver, so I think coaches are thinking I'll play there."

Torii may also be wanted on the diamond; he is a baseball player, too.

Darius Hunter is a smaller guy, perhaps generously listed at 5-11 and 163 pounds. There's no doubt he'll play inside receiver on the college level, just as he does for Prosper.

Darius Hunter compares to both Jakeem Grant and Javares McRoy, probably a little bit more to McRoy with the 'make you miss' approach to the game. The prep inside receiver can juke defenders out of their shoes from his slot position and runs a 4.4 40 time.

Darius Hunter's only offer is from Tech thus far.

Between Tech, Oklahoma State and Arkansas, things are still wide open for Torii Hunter Jr.

"My dad and I, we have a great relationship," he said. "As far as recruiting he helps me with everything. He doesn't make the decisions. He tries to let me make the best decision for myself."

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