How Hunter Herring went from ULM baseball commit to Ragin' Cajuns football signee

Adam Hunsucker
Monroe News-Star

Plenty has changed for Hunter Herring since his record-setting performance in the 2019 Division IV finals.  

One year ago, Herring was committed to play baseball at Louisiana-Monroe. A pledge Ouachita Christian’s quarterback planned to honor despite leading the Eagles to a state championship and capturing numerous MVP honors.

“I was all baseball until after Christmas Break,” Herring said. “I had to sit down with my parents and talk about it and I thought this was really something I could do. Just going through this season, I haven’t thought twice about baseball.”

COVID-19 complicated Herring’s recruiting. South Alabama offered him first, but the school he coveted most was Louisiana-Lafayette. Herring took and unofficial visit before the shutdown, and after receiving an offer in June, committed to the Ragin’ Cajuns two days later.

Herring signed with the Cajuns on Wednesday, making him the first early signee in OCS history.

“It’s a great feeling know how hard I worked for this during quarantine,” Herring said. “I was sending videos in every week just trying to get there and it was a process. Once I finally got that offer, I was pretty dead set.

“Coach Billy Napier and the entire staff do a great job and it’s about more than football. I’m coming into a school where I’ll be Hunter Herring and not just a number in the system.”

In his first year as the starter, Herring amassed 2,979 total yards (1,794 passing, 1,185 rushing) and totaled 52 combined touchdowns. His seven-touchdown performance broke a Prep Classic record for Class 1A/Division IV.

Herring received the News-Star's 2019 Bert Jones Offensive Player of the Year award and was the consensus Class 1A Offensive MVP.

OCS coach Steven Fitzhugh noticed Herring’s athleticism during his freshman year. His jaw dropped when he saw Herring triple almost 40 feet in jeans and tennis shoes as a sophomore.

“I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a player jump like he did in a month’s period to where it just went to PlayStation numbers,” Fitzhugh said. “He worked hard during quarantine and came back better than he was at the end of last year.”

Fitzhugh praised Herring’s competitive streak and his compassion. He walked from the visitor’s sideline to console Vermilion Catholic quarterback Drew Lege after his incompletion on a two-point attempt clinched the win for OCS in the semifinals.

OCS quarterback Hunter Herring signed with Louisiana-Lafayette on Wednesday in an outdoor ceremony at Steven Fitzhugh Field.

“I felt for him and I knew instantly he needed somebody for encouragement,” Herring said. “He played by far one of the best games I’ve seen out of a high school quarterback in a long time and it’s about more than football.”

Herring’s 2,196 total yards and 33 touchdowns have OCS looking at a repeat. The third-seeded Eagles play Calvary Baptist No. 1 Calvary Baptist at 1 p.m. on Dec. 29 at Northwestern State’s Turpin Stadium.

“It isn’t shocking now when he goes out and has five or six touchdowns a game,” Fitzhugh said. “He sets the bar so high and has done a great job for us.”

The 19th-ranked Cajuns play No. 12 Coastal Carolina in the Sun Belt Championship Game on Saturday at 2:30 p.m.

“It’s a good time to be a Cajun with them being ranked not only just football,” Herring said. “Just the entire school with basketball and softball and it’s just exciting.”

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