Hunter White is a former Boise State linebacker and an outspoken supporter of the program. White talks about the importance of special teams, the recruiting process, and what it was like to be a coach’s son. He was gracious enough to answer some questions for this edition of “Blast From the Bronco Past.”
Zach: Describe the recruiting process. What made you decide on Boise State?
Hunter: The recruiting process has always been an interesting one. It took a while for me to get my first offer (Summer going into my Senior year). Then quite a few more followed in coming weeks. This was pre-social media, so I didn’t make an outside announcement, but I actually verballed to Washington State late my senior year. And it wasn’t until after my senior year that Boise offered me. I played against Pettis in the section finals, so I guess it gave the Boise coaches another chance to see me. Pete was at my school a week later. My decision was easy once January 2nd, 2006 hit. I called Coach Pete about 2 hours after the Fiesta Bowl- he answered- I committed. Best decision I could have made.
Zach: You were part of the most successful graduating class in Boise State history. What was the experience like?
Hunter: It truly was amazing, and I don’t think at 19/20/21 years old we fully understood it either. I sure do now. The culture we were so used to was just WINNING, and I am such a competitive guy. It sure felt good having such an amazing 4 years.
Zach: If I remember correctly, you were a major contributor on special teams. How did you approach that role?
Hunter: I am a coach’s kid; my dad was a 38 yr HS head coach, so I understood the importance of special teams way before college. Also, this was my first chance to get on the field. I was always hungry for playing time, and I felt I was a very unselfish player and wanted to help the team anyway I could, and special teams found me early on.
Zach: You were surrounded by an unreal amount of talent. How did you guys push each other to improve?
Hunter: The talent is I think what helped. We had such an amazing group of guys, that ‘06 and ‘07 incoming classes were something else, a lot of hidden gems and a lot of chips on our shoulders. We wanted to prove to everyone how good of a team we were, and naturally we pushed ourselves. There also were a lot of positions where the backup would have been a starter at any other school in our conference, so you couldn’t get comfortable.
Zach: Your role increased each of the four years you played. Was it hard to remain patient?
Hunter: Like most players, we were all the stars in high school. This was my first time being a backup. It was hard but I knew the only way to change that was with hard work and the effort I put in. Stressful at times, but I was fortunate my sophomore year, mostly when I wasn’t getting much playing time on defensive. I was still on every special teams, so I knew I still had an important role for the team and could never pout or take it easy.
Zach: Coach Pete is obviously a legend in these parts. What made him such a special coach?
Hunter: Hard to put into words. I still tell people I played for the best coach in college football! He was hard; there was no slack, and he demanded us to do our job and do exactly that. If we didn’t, we wouldn’t like the outcome. Outside of football, he prepared us for the real world. LIFE. Demanded we work hard in the classroom, was a big believer in community service and working with the community. At times I felt he was pretty hard on me, maybe in part because I was a coach’s kid, but also, he knew he could. I responded to it.
Zach: What was your favorite memory during your time at Boise State?
Hunter: I have a few. But on the field I have to say beating VTech in Redskin Stadium! 90,000 people (mostly their fans) and the game was such a good one. I got to run out of the tunnel with the hammer to 80,000+ boos. So that was fun, lol. Away from the field? Too many to list, just spending time with such a great group of guys. MANY I still talk to today.
Zach: What is your most heartbreaking memory?
Hunter: RENO---- and the chance to play in the Rose Bowl that year! As I’m sure that would be for most my teammates. We only lost 3 games, so there were very few sad ones, but that tops the short list.
Zach: Do you still follow the team closely? If so, what do you expect out of the 2019 squad? Is there a player that you think fans should keep an eye on?
Hunter: I do. I have been proud of them. Although I know they lost some key pieces (as do most teams), they have a great group of young talent and have put a couple really good recruiting classes together. My stand out guy is Shakir; I remember seeing highlights of him in HS when I was coaching at Edison (in OC). Also, with the #2 and the crazy catches reminds me of my college roommate, Austin Pettis. So looking for big things from him this year.
Zach: Bronco Nation would love to know how life is treating you. What are you up to these days?
Hunter: Life is great, definitely miss The Blue and always will. I coached with my dad for a couple years at Edison High school; we sent him out a CIF champion in 2016. And I have been living in Santa Monica, and I run operations for Muscle Beach (we own retail locations on the Venice Beach boardwalk as well as a sports nutrition company. MuscleBeach.com). Been doing that the last couple years and absolutely love it.
Zach: Lastly, any parting words for Bronco Nation?
Hunter: Love you guys! We truly do have the best fans, and I absolutely enjoyed my time as a Bronco. Times I will never forget. Thank you guys for making it extra special! Once a Bronco Always a Bronco!
Thanks again to Hunter White for taking the time to sit down and answer some questions. Stay tuned for next week’s edition of “Blast From the Bronco Past.”