|No. 16, 10|
November 19, 1947 |
|Height:||6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)|
|Weight:||205 lb (93 kg)|
|High school:||Prichard (AL) Vigor|
|NFL Draft:||1971 / Round: 6 / Pick: 140|
|Career NFL statistics|
|Player stats at PFR|
James Scott Hunter (born November 19, 1947) is a former professional football player, a quarterback in the National Football League for eight seasons in the 1970s. He played for the Green Bay Packers, Buffalo Bills, Atlanta Falcons, and Detroit Lions.
Born in Mobile, Alabama, Hunter graduated from Vigor High School in Prichard. During his Senior year, he led the Wolves to an 8-2 record. Hunter received All-State, All-Southern, and All-American honors. He played college football at the University of Alabama, where he set numerous passing records under coach Bear Bryant. After Hunter left, the Crimson Tide switched to the run-oriented Wishbone offense in 1971.
In 1966, freshmen were prohibited by the NCAA to play on the varsity squad. Hunter played on an all-freshmen team called the Baby Tide. The team was coached by Clem Gryska and went 4-0. In 1968, he led the Crimson Tide to an 8-3 record. One of the highlights for Hunter was playing in his backyard at Mobile's Ladd Stadium, when Alabama defeated Southern Miss 17-14. Hunter started the game and threw for a touchdown to give the Tide a victory.
On October 4, 1969 Alabama hosted the Ole Miss Rebels in a nationally televised game, in prime time, for ABC. The game received legendary status for its back-and-forth scoring, as both the Tide and Rebels set offensive records. Hunter was 22 for 29, for 300 yards passing and a touchdown, while adding another touchdown on the ground. Alabama won 33-32. The Tide finished with a 6-5 record.
His senior year saw him sharing quarterback duties with Neb Hayden. The Tide went 6-5 during the regular season, ending it with an invitation to the Bluebonnet Bowl. Hunter got Alabama on the scoreboard first, with a touchdown pass to Randy Moore. After trailing 21-7, Hunter threw another touchdown pass to David Bailey to make it a 7-point deficit at halftime. The game ended in a 24-24 tie.
Hunter was selected in the sixth round of the 1971 NFL draft by the Green Bay Packers, the 140th overall pick. He was chosen by the Packers because of his similarities in pedigree with the aging Green Bay legend Bart Starr. Hunter played most of the 1972 season, leading the Packers to their last divisional title until the Brett Favre era. Hunter played for eight seasons in the NFL.
As a rookie, Hunter started ten games for the Packers in 1971, and completed 75 passes in 163 attempts, with seven touchdowns against seventeen interceptions. Though he again had more interceptions than touchdown passes, Hunter showed signs of improvement in 1972, leading a run-oriented offense and Green Bay to a 10–4 record, their first division title and playoff appearance since 1967. He regressed the next year, and started only five games, replaced by Jerry Tagge. After signing a multi-year deal in May 1974, Hunter was traded in July to the Buffalo Bills, where he was the back-up to Joe Ferguson. He never started a game for the Bills, and made only one appearance during the entire season. He was waived during the 1975 training camp and did not play in the NFL that season.
Hunter's career was given new life in Atlanta in 1976. With the previous year's top draft pick Steve Bartkowski benched, Hunter started six games. For the first time in his career, he threw more touchdowns than interceptions, with 5 touchdowns and 4 interceptions. Hunter started seven games in 1977, until Bartkowski returned from knee surgery and took over as the full-time starter. Hunter was released after the season, and did not play in the NFL in 1978. His last season in the NFL was 1979 with the Detroit Lions, where he backed up Gary Danielson and Jeff Komlo, then was released after the season.
For his NFL career, Hunter completed 335 of 748 passes for 4,756 yards, with 23 touchdown passes and 38 interceptions.
Hunter returned to Alabama and worked as a sportscaster in Mobile for nearly two decades. He worked for WKRG-TV, the CBS affiliate, and then for WPMI-TV, the NBC affiliate. He also co-hosted a radio show on WNSP 105.5 FM. He then worked as an investment broker.
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