Happy birthday to a long, rangy, defensive playmaker for SMU by way of White Oak - Byron Hunt.
At 6-5, 215 pounds, Hunt was just the kind of athlete Ron Meyer was looking for when he set about recruiting east Texas. Meyer inserted him into the starting lineup midway through his true freshman season. By 1978 Hunt was bulking up and making plays.
He made his presence felt by taking an interception to the house against Rice in 1979. A week later he pounced on a TCU fumble for another score. A month later Hunt took a Houston fumble 25-yards for his third score of the season. SMU was at peak Mustang Mania, averaging nearly 60,000 fans per game and on the cusp of challenging for the league title. By then the lanking defensive end from White Oak had grown into a 230-pound linebacker.
Hunt played a rather significant role in the Ponies win over A&M in 1980, blocking a punt and returning it 59 yards for the first score in a 27-0 blowout. Writers named Hunt 2nd Team All-SWC for his efforts in 1980. The New York Giants selected Hunt in the ninth round of the 1981 NFL draft. As a rookie, he recovered a Tony Dorsett fumble and stepped in front of a Danny White pass to set up a game-winning, overtime field goal for the Giants in the playoffs.
Hunt played eight seasons and was part of the Giants’ Super Bowl 21 Championship team. He teamed up with linebackers Lawrence Taylor and Carl Banks in Bill Parcells’ legendary 3-4.
Happy Birthday to an SMU and NFL great and a White Oak Roughneck, Byron Hunt.