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Sports July 6, 2018

Holy Cross quarterback to start throwing spirals for SFU Clan

By Tom Zillich

Holy Cross Secondary’s Nate Hunt during a Fox 40 Prospect Challenge game. (Facebook.com/nate.hu.90)

SURREY—As a quarterback, it’s no surprise that Nate Hunt’s favourite pro football player is someone like John Elway, the retired Denver Broncos legend. What is a bit of a surprise, however, is why.

“It’s because he said one of my favourite quotes of all-time,” noted Hunt, a standout at Holy Cross Regional Secondary in Surrey.

In a phone interview, Hunt couldn’t recall Elway’s exact quote, but he later Tweet-messaged it to this reporter: “If you’re not confident you’re gonna get killed, alright. So you have to do a sufficient amount of work to be confident enough to have the conviction to do something like it’s natural.”

For Hunt, taking his game to the next level will require a sufficient amount of work at Simon Fraser University with the Clan football team, which has made him part of its 2018 recruiting class.

The news was made official in mid-April, and Hunt said he can’t wait to start throwing spirals on Burnaby Mountain.

“I want to go out there and prove to the coach that I work hard, and he has said he wants a QB who is going to grind every day, and that’s me,” Hunt told the Now-Leader. “I have always prided myself on being the hardest working guy on the field.”

In January, the Clan announced the hiring of new head coach Thomas Ford, a Seattle native who has more than 10 years of NCAA and high school coaching experience in the U.S. Ford, the 11th head coach in the history of the SFU football program, replaces Kelly Bates, whose contract as head coach was not renewed after three winless seasons.

Ford continues to recruit “the best student-athletes from two countries,” according to a Clan press release, “welcoming 12 more student-athletes from British Columbia, Washington State, California, Arizona and Alaska, as he re-shapes the Clan football program.”

Four student-athletes with Lower Mainland ties are joining the Clan, including Hunt, a two-year starter at quarterback for Holy Cross Regional High School. He is the second quarterback in SFU’s recruiting class this year.

“We added some older players up front and in the backfield that have the potential to make an impact day one,” Ford stated. “These guys will provide battle-tested experience and are all highly motivated to come in and compete. We also added some very good high school players, including many from B.C., that will shape the foundation for the future of the program. Overall we are extremely excited about the offensive additions to our initial class.”

The six-foot-three, 205-pound Hunt, who lives with his family in the Sullivan area of Surrey, has played football for 11 of his 18 years, both in school and for community clubs in White Rock and North Surrey.

“I wanted to play football at the next level since I was three years old,” Hunt said. “I remember sitting with my dad in one of our old houses, and watching these guys (football players) move around so fast, and I was like, ‘That’s what I want to do.’”

Fittingly, Hunt was born during a rather large football game.

“I was born during Super Bowl 34, somewhere around the beginning of the fourth quarter, Titans versus Rams,” he told a reporter for a story that appears on the canadafootballchat.com website. “My family always gathered around the TV to watch football, the same way some families gather around to watch a movie.… In my house, we live and breathe football. I was born into this game.”

Originally published in the Surrey Now-Leader. Reprinted with permission.