Michigan State TE Tyler Hunt will pay homage to small town roots with youth football camp

GOBLES, MI — Tyler Hunt never had a plan to become a Big Ten football player.

Growing up in the southwestern Michigan town of Gobles and its population of around 800, he rarely encountered anyone who sniffed the game at the Division I level, so he was important for the end Michigan State’s tight end to find a way to help his hometown’s next generation of football players.

Thus, the Iron Tiger Youth Football Camp was born.

The camp, created by Hunt, takes place on Saturdays from 3-6 p.m. at Gobles High School and is open to children in grades 1-7 from Gobles and beyond.

The cost to attend is $30 and payments can be made on the day of the event or in advance using Venmo code @Tyler-Hunt-33. Those paying through Venmo are encouraged to include the camper’s name and location in the memo box.

“When I was growing up, there weren’t a lot of opportunities like that in the Gobles area, and not many people would come back and give their time and effort to the kids growing up, so it’s something I wanted to do. with the platform that I have – creating opportunities for kids to hang out, have fun, play football and see someone who has made it out of their town to give back to them,” Hunt said. .

Joining the Gobles 2017 graduating class as camp coaches will be Michigan State junior tight end Evan Morris and Spartan junior tight end Jackson Morse.

The three coaches have 10 years of combined experience on the MSU roster and will take campers through group and individual drills, offering blocking, running and passing techniques, in addition to hosting a scrum 7 against 7, a punt, a pass and kick challenge, and an obstacle course competition.

“Obviously they’re going to learn techniques and things that I didn’t learn when I was growing up, but other than that just giving them role models to look up to,” Hunt said of what he hopes that campers get out of the experience. “I grew up with a lot of people who didn’t have very good role models in their lives, so that’s one of the big things I want them to take away from that is knowing that he there are successful people in this town who are willing to give back, and if i can be a role model in their life, maybe as they get older they will come back and be a role model in another child’s life.

An autograph and photo opportunity will take place at the end of camp, and it’s this type of interaction with the young athletes that Hunt said he is most looking forward to.

“Gobles had an assembly last week, and I spoke to some of the kids there, and all of them came to get autographs and then sent me pictures of them using that autograph as a bookmark or something. that’s really special,” Hunt mentioned. “Just being able to give them memories or interact with them in a little way that they can take with them for a long time is pretty cool.”

A four-year starting quarterback for the Gobles varsity football team, Hunt has been a top athlete in the Van Buren County community for nearly a decade, but his rise at MSU hasn’t been quite as simple.

Hunt enrolled at MSU as a student and got his first look at football staff at open tryouts, where he impressed enough to earn an opportunity as a kicker and punter.

After spending the 2017 season in a redshirt, he started five games as a Spartans punter in 2018, including a memorable performance against Michigan, in which he averaged 41.5 yards per punt on 11. attempts and hitch a hand with an errant snap, before exploding. a 60 meters from the deepest in MSU territory.

With starting punter Jake Hartbarger back from injury in 2019, Hunt took on a new role as a team starter, then made the unconventional stint of tight end specialist for the 2020 season and moved on. ranked second in his positional group with eight catches for 78 yards during the pandemic-shortened campaign. He also found the end zone for the first time in his college career on a 1-yard throw in a 49-7 loss to Iowa that year.

As a fifth-year senior in 2021, Hunt started four games and had 136 yards and a touchdown on 14 catches for a Michigan State team that finished 11-2 and ranked ninth in the latest poll. from the Associated Press.

“I think we’re all pretty proud of what we accomplished last year,” Hunt said. “We weren’t supposed to do all that. We were expected to be one of the worst teams in all of college football, and we ended up winning the Peach Bowl, so as we approach next year, our goal is no longer just to ‘Being in the Peach Bowl is about winning a Big Ten Championship and competing for a National Championship, and I think that’s the mindset of everyone – the coaching staff, the staff. training, the academy staff, the players – all of our goals and our mindset is to be the best in all aspects on and off the pitch. ”

After missing MSU’s final two games of the 2021 campaign through injury, Hunt wore a non-contact red jersey during the team’s last spring training open to the public, but the veteran said he would be ready. starting this year in a group of positions that includes Purdue transfer Maliq Carr and Illinois transfer Daniel Barker, as well as Morse and Morris.

“I played a lot last year, and I think this year I will play again, getting more involved in the passing game and the running game,” Hunt said. “I hope to do well in a few other special teams, and I think I can help there.

“Also, just taking on a leadership role for the team and being able to be more vocal. I’m not the most vocal guy, so being able to grow more there and have a change to become a true vocal leader in the team is something I need to step up next year.

Also on MLive.com

Introducing Gobles’ 5 Greatest Athletes Since 2000

Inside Tyler Hunt’s unlikely path from walk-in kicker to starting tight end at Michigan State

Michigan State’s Payton Thorne and Tyler Hunt use old skills in new ways

Despite the loss of Connor Heyward and the departures from the portal, Michigan State has good prospects for TE

Michigan OL Karsen Barnhart brings football and fun back to Paw Paw

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