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Getting to know... SMU's Margus Hunt

It’s been called “The World’s Toughest Job Interview.” For seven days at the NFL Combine (Feb. 20-26), college football’s best will be measured, interviewed, tested, watched and analyzed by countless NFL coaches, general managers and scouts prior to the NFL Draft. To prepare, more than three-dozen top prospects traveled to IMG Academy for six-plus weeks of position-specific skill-work, speed and movement, physical and mental conditioning, communications and leadership training, nutrition, vision training, sports medicine and more with world-renowned coaches and trainers. 

Estonia's Margus Hunt is a 6-foot8, 277-lb defensive end. Hunt originally arrived on Southern Methodist University's campus as a member of the track and field program. Notably, at the World Junior Championships in 2006, Hunt set the junior world record for the discus throw on his way to earning gold medals in discus throw and shotput for Estonia.  Hunt participated for one semester in track and field at SMU in Dallas, Texas before trying out for the football team. In 2009,  Head Coach June Jones offered a football scholarship to Hunt and he joined the program as a defensive end. He was an immediate success, blocking seven kicks as a freshmen, nearly doubling the old school record and leading the NCAA in that category. Today, Hunt is participating in the 2013 IMG Academy NFL Combine Training Program. The big man sat down and revealed some interesting facts about his thoughts on specific NFL players, his tattoo, his talents and more.

…playing the piano

Estonia is a very musical country, people are very active in music and it’s a huge pastime of ours. Growing up I always wanted to learn some kind of instrument. My first option was guitar, but at SMU the guitar lessons didn’t fit my schedule so I had to find an alternative which happened to be piano. As soon as I started taking it, it felt really good and I liked it right away. Thankfully, my old roommate who is incredible at playing piano, and has been playing since he was three years old, had a little keyboard at our apartment and I always played. Since he played the piano, he taught me a lot. We would listen to a lot of classical music together and go through the composers.

…music to listen to before a game

It has been piano for the most part. There are some really powerful piano concertos that I like to listen to. They really help me mentally focus before a game, or when I’m on the bus headed to the stadium. It’s something really close to me now. It’s a different kind of vibe that gets me going.

…players you like to watch film on

I like to watch film on [Houston Texans DE] J.J. Watt. We have the same body structure. Well, he’s a little heavier, but putting 15 pounds on me is not that hard to accomplish. I also like to watch [New York Giants DE] Justin Tuck or anyone on that New York defensive line. They all have great technique and can get to the quarterback. Another guy is [Minnesota Vikings DE] Jared Allen. He has a great motor and keeps going no matter what. And lastly, [Dallas Cowboys DE] Demarcus Ware is fun to learn from.

…your sack dance

I don’t have a specific sack dance right now. But I’ll figure something out when I hit the NFL.


Margus Hunt's Tattoo

…the meaning behind your tattoo (pictured right)

My last name in my native language means Wolf. I wanted to get a tattoo resembling that. It took me about six or seven years to find out exactly what I wanted to do, and I had a lot of people do different designs of wolf tattoos that they thought would be cool. I was only about 14 when I first started thinking about it, but eventually I found something I really liked and got it done. This tattoo took nine hours, and then I got it redone and that took another seven hours. I got it in 2009 when I went back home [to Estonia] for Christmas. It is really well done. The artist left the eyes open on the wolf, which means it’s a bright look into the future.

…a second tattoo

I have thought about it, but I don’t know exactly what to get. I’m still looking into something that really resembles my life.

…transitioning to the United States of America

I’ve been in the United States since January 2008. That was the first semester I was enrolled in SMU. That year, I only did track and field. Then in 2009, I started doing football. One of the biggest transitions I had to make coming to America was the sheer size of Dallas. I come from a town of about 1,200 people at most. Dallas itself has a few million. It was a big change, but SMU is a really nice school and everything is pretty calm. The buildings aren’t too overwhelming and it has a home-like feeling to it. It was a great transition. I met a lot of great people and have had a great experience ever since I’ve been here.

…favorite foods of Estonia

The cuisine and dishes from back home are different in some ways, but not too far off. I don’t really know what our national food is because we have been occupied by so many countries. So everything is really mixed. But whenever I go home for Christmas, there is always a lot of potatoes and a lot of meat.