Trinity Episcopal alumnus Terrance Hunter goes through practice drills with the Fordham University football team this past summer. Hunter redshirted in the fall and is currently visiting family in Natchez. (Photo courtesy of Fordham University)

Hunter dodged hurricane in first semester in N.Y.

Published 12:01am Saturday, December 29, 2012

NATCHEZ — Seeing firsthand the destruction of Hurricane Sandy, Natchez native Terrance Hunter likened the experience to one from closer to home.

Hunter, who just finished his first semester at Fordham University in the Bronx, N.Y., was in the storm’s way in late October as it barreled down on the State of New York. Looking back on the experience, the Trinity Episcopal alumnus said Hurricane Katrina, which moved through Natchez in 2005, was a good comparison to what happened with Sandy.

“All we had on campus was trees uprooted and debris everywhere,” Hunter said. “The Bronx didn’t get flooded, but everything around it got flooded.

“I was surprised. I didn’t think the hurricane would be that bad, and I thought we were prepared. I was very shocked. It reminded me of Katrina and what happened to New Orleans.”

Since Hunter was living in Natchez when Katrina came through, he said experiencing Sandy gave him a feeling of déjà vu.

“It was almost the same storm,” Hunter said. “There was a lot of debris in Natchez and the Bronx, but surrounding areas like New Orleans (with Katrina) or the coast (with Sandy) got flooded horribly. They were almost equivalent to each other.”

Christmas break is only the second time Hunter has been home since reporting to Fordham this past summer on the football scholarship. Southern food was Hunter’s most-missed delicacy, and Hunter’s family made sure to let him indulge on his return visits, he said.

“Both for Thanksgiving and Christmas, my mom made jambalaya,” Hunter said. “When I came back home for Thanksgiving, I ate so much food. I love all this food.”

After the break is over, Hunter will return to Fordham to begin winter conditioning, which will primarily focus on lifting weights and running. He said he’s looking forward to getting the chance to improve in certain areas.

“I just have to get bigger, faster and stronger,” Hunter said. “I’m a little smaller than most people at my position (defensive line). If I can get my weight up and get a little faster, my athleticism should allow me to succeed at my position.”

Since he redshirted this past fall, Hunter said the redshirt season gave him a good chance to learn the team’s playbook, which he said was probably the biggest adjustment from high school to college.

“Football is a lot more complicated in college with playcalling,” Hunter said. “In high school, we just run plays that are independent of one another. In college, plays are called to set up for the next play.”

Even though he’s on defense, Hunter said learning the playbook is still difficult.

“You would think a defensive playbook would be smaller, but it’s about the same (as the offense),” Hunter said. “You have to keep studying the playbook until it becomes second nature to you. That’s the only way it’ll work on the field.”

Hunter tore his anterior cruciate ligament as a senior at Trinity, and he’s still trying to fully recover from the injury. He had a second surgery a little more than a month ago.

“It’s a one- to two-month recovery period,” Hunter said.

Living in New York City is nice, Hunter said, but he still hasn’t had a chance to go sightseeing much.

“The only place I’ve really been to is Times Square right now,” Hunter said. “I had a chance to go to Madison Square Garden but didn’t. I’d like to either go there, on top of the Statue of Liberty or to the Empire State Building.”