Recruiting: Belleville football's Jalen Hunt enjoys Iowa's family feel
Jalen Hunt committed to Iowa last week without much fanfare.
Nice and quiet is fine with the Belleville linebacker/running back, which is why Iowa City drew one of the state’s top prospects away from Michigan.
Hunt is 6-foot-3½, 245 pounds and expected to be used at linebacker and running back for the Tigers this season.
Hunt visited Iowa City the weekend before he committed.
“My visit was great because I learned some things I didn’t know about Iowa,’’ Hunt said. “Other recruits that were committed, they spoke highly of Iowa. They don’t play there yet, but they’ve been there many times. I knew Iowa was the place when I was there. I’m not a big-time person. It wasn’t too big and it wasn’t too small. It was the perfect fit for me."
Hunt especially liked the "family atmosphere" during his visit.
“Iowa (City) is a small town, but it has a family feel; everybody welcomes people," Hunt said. “All the players welcome everybody in as if they are one of their own. The coaches treat you like you are their son."
Kelvin Bell, the Iowa recruiting coordinator and defensive line coach, spotted Hunt at camps and decided he’d be a good fit, Hunt said.
“He might not be well-known, but at camps he has helped me out with certain things and he has helped me improve."
Belleville assistant coach Thomas Desafernandes has coached Hunt since Little League with the Eastside Tigers and the Detroit Spartans.
“He’s quiet," Deasfernandes said. “He’s not one of those kids who needs to be in a big town with all the parties and stuff. He’s a big kid, he’s quiet and athletic as heck. For his size, he can run a 4.6 (40-yard dash). He’d fit in perfectly with what Iowa does at the running back position, so don’t be surprised, but they really love him playing defense because of his athleticism.
“He might get a couple of carries for us this year. He ran a little bit for Belleville last year. I think last year he had a 96-yard touchdown run against Dearborn."
Hunt could have gotten lost in the crowd at Belleville, which has five-star offensive lineman Devontae Dobbs (Michigan State commit), four-star defensive back Julian Barnett (MSU) and three-star defensive back Andre Selden (Michigan) on its roster, but his speed and size thrust him into the forefront.
“I don’t feel like I’ve been overlooked," said Hunt. “I think we have the talent to win a state title and I wanted to focus on that. Honestly, I feel like I have the best crew in the nation. We have Dobbs, we have Dre and even a guy like Marvin Ham, who lines up with me. Dobbs can block anybody who comes up against him. Dre (Seldon) can lock down anybody in the state or the nation. I believe Julian can beat anybody on a fade route. We have the best players ever and the best collection of guys."
Contact Perry A. Farrell: email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @farrellperry.