Hunter Dale has grown up around football. He has trained with NFL talents since he was seven years old and has seen first-hand what it takes to make it to the next level and beyond.
The River Ridge (La.) John Curtis standout may only be entering his junior season, but he is already seasoned with football experience. His father, Wyatt Harris, runs Sonic Boom, and Dale has taken advantage of not only his father's knowledge and expertise but also that of the athletes his father trains.
"When I train on the field I cover like Marques Colston, Robert Meachem, Jacoby Jones, Odell Beckham…all those," Dale said. "It works out well because they work me and I actually get to see they're big and physical so it helps me get physical and work on my hands and take my speed to a higher level."
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At John Curtis, Dale has also had some rich football experiences. He helped the Patriots claim the national championship as a sophomore and the talented squad is focused on repeating in 2013.
The recruiting process began early for Dale, who already holds offers from Arizona, Arizona State, Florida, Miami, Mississippi State, and Tulane. He is thankful for the opportunities already on the table and is taking in everything he can when it comes to recruiting.
"I've been very patient," Dale said. "It's very exciting when I get an offer because I've been training since I was seven, and for it to come right after my freshman year it was just very exciting. I was glad to get my offers and it got some pressure off my back and I could just go out there and play some football."
This summer he did just that. He attended two summer camps, both at SEC programs. He took a trip to Starkville (Miss.) for a stop at Mississippi State and then over to Gainesville (Fla.) to work at Florida. Coaches at both programs left a favorable impression on the young defensive back.
"Mississippi State was awesome because I got to talk to coach Townsend," Dale said. "He was a great coach. He coached me up a lot out there and I learned some new stuff. I talked to coach Mullen and he was a great guy to talk to. When I went up to Florida the atmosphere was great. Everybody treated me well. Coach Muschamp, me and him talked a little bit and chatted it up. I performed great at both of the camps and I like both of the schools. Those are the only camps I went to and next year I'll be going to some more."
In the spring, he was able to check out Florida's spring game and this fall he plans to check out a Florida home game as well as attend their match-up with LSU in Baton Rouge.
As the 2013 season approaches, there is no doubt his focus is squarely with John Curtis. Recruiting is fun and exciting, and it is not going to be a distraction.
"I'm not worried right now because with the season coming up I'm just worried about trying to win another national championship and do what I can for my team," Dale said. "Every school has an opportunity right now because of how early everything has started for me. Nobody is on top for me right now."