The Arizona heat is not for the faint of heart.
Chandler senior running back Dae Dae Hunter found that out quickly when he moved to Arizona from Colorado in July.
“When I first got here it was horrible,” Hunter said. “I’ve never run in 110 degree weather. It didn’t kick in for the first two weeks until I got acclimated.”
Since July, the temperatures have dropped, but Hunter has been heating up for the Wolves offense.
The senior has 551 rushing yards, 14 touchdowns in five games this season. He’s settled in well and has adapted to the Chandler football culture quickly.
“He just wanted to play,” Chandler head coach Rick Garretson said of Hunter’s arrival. “He knew what the circumstances were, because besides him we’ve got four other quality running backs. He’s had to learn the culture, what happens at Chandler, but I couldn’t ask for anything more out of Dae Dae.”
Hunter was aware that the Chandler Wolves were three-peat State Champions and nationally ranked, but he had no idea just how good they were until he arrived on campus, he said.
When he started practicing, Hunter said he planned on doing whatever it took to be a playmaker for Garretson and the Wolves.
“In Colorado, I had to know everything. I played running back and defense, so I had to know everything,” Hunter said. “Coming here I was willing to play anything to get on the field and it happened to be strictly running back.”
Now halfway through his senior season as the Wolves leading rusher, Hunter has said he has learned a lot about himself and the potential he has.
“Coming from Colorado, it’s not a big recruitment place,” Hunter said. “When you’re there, you’re good in that state, but coaches say there’s players everywhere, so you don’t know how good you really are until you go to a different place. That’s what happened here. When I came here, I realized I could compete with players all over the place.”
Hunter has offers from Wyoming, South Dakota State, Northern Arizona, Arizona Christian, Chadron State and Nebraska Kearney.
— Daveon Hunter (Dae Dae) (@Daveon4l) August 6, 2019
He has drawn some interest from Arizona State as well, visiting recently with former Chandler head coach Shaun Aguano, who is now the running backs coach for the Sun Devils.
“Arizona State, they have a nice campus.” Hunter said. “It was something I’d never seen before and Coach Aguano is a nice guy. I like him a lot.”
Aguano built the Chandler program in to what it is today. When meeting with Hunter on his visit to ASU, Aguano reiterated the importance of the key value the Wolves have: Ohana.
“It’s ohana, which means family,” Hunter said. “(Aguano) said that’s how it was built, based off of family and hard work. It’s crazy because they say ohana, but here it’s really ohana. The amount of time I’ve been here, almost two and a half months, it’s like I’m a brother to them all now.”
You can catch the action LIVE on Friday, Sept. 27, 2019 at 7:00pm PT/10:00pm ET on Cox (Ch. 1004) or at yurview.com/live.