BEAVERTON, Ore. -
The conversation in the stands was repeated over and over on Sunday, 'Who's that?' Upon digging through their programs it was almost on cue that spectators' said, 'Ohhh,' when seeing Prosper (Prosper, Texas)
wide receiver Tori Hunter Jr.
name. The reason they had to look him was because he didn't have the most recognizable face but he did end up making the biggest plays -- long touchdown after long touchdown for the winning squad -- during the 7ON tournament to be named overall MVP.
"It's a lot of fun playing against these guys," Hunter said. "It was definitely a big thing to get invited, I wasn't expecting it. For the longest, it was getting near the camp and I hadn't gotten invited. I went to the Dallas [Nike Camp] and did pretty good but didn't get an invitation. So I kind of waited it out and got a call two or three weeks ago.
"I'm thankful I got invited and am blessed to be here."
No stranger to the bright lights and media attention thanks to his father, the Los Angeles Angeles outfielder of the same name, Hunter Jr. was unsure of what The Opening would actually be like. Upon arriving in Oregon for a quick tour and getting to see what he'd be wearing over the weekend, it quickly became clear to the 6-foot, 175-pound wideout.
"The gear is probably the biggest surprise," he said. "It's crazy. Everything matches your team color, they gave you SPARQ training gear, everything. It's been great."
One of the top players in North Texas, the savvy route runner let his game do the talking in stringing together three consecutive days of impressive play. Although older folks in the stands recognized his names, Hunter Jr. was somewhat anonymous among his fellow recruits except when he let his play do the talking.
"Not really, a lot of people don't even recognize the name or expect Torii Hunter Jr. to be here," he said. "People didn't notice. I actually stayed with Corey Robinson, and his dad is [NBA Hall of Famer] David Robinson. So that was pretty good."
Hunter Jr. holds offers from schools such as Arizona, Arkansas, Mississippi State and Texas Tech among others and had nearly 750 yards receiving and 11 touchdowns last season as a junior. Recruited by some of the top programs in the country has meant an additional distraction from everyday life but the calm and collected receiver deals with the process by just taking it as it comes along.
"I got my 18th offer not too long ago so I'm sitting pretty good right now," he said. "I'm just going through the recruiting process and take some more visits. Hopefully I can narrow it down soon and get this thing done with."
The issue with visits is the busy summer baseball schedule that has Hunter Jr. scurrying all around. With only a limited window, he may run his unofficial visits together in a condensed period in order to see the schools he needs to before possibly picking one in the coming months. A solid baseball prospect in his own right (in addition to the good genes), he wants to play both sports in college and is undecided which one he would pick if forced to choose.
Also complicating Hunter Jr.'s recruiting is his two brothers, Money and Darius Hunter. Both hold several offers and the trio even has a few in common if they wanted to go to the same school. Darius was recently arrested for an alleged sexual assault and that has thrown the family for a loop and has his brother wishing for the best.
"I just hope he stays level-headed and gets his mind right," Hunter Jr. said. "I know it wasn't true [what he was accused of] and everything but I just want this to be an eye-opener. Hopefully he gets his priorities straight and focus on the task at hand and try and make it."
Hunter's father recently took a leave of absence from the Angels to deal with the situation but has since returned. While Hunter Jr. was catching touchdown passes on the fields of the Nike Campus, his dad went 1 for 3 and scored a run in a 6-0 victory against the Baltimore Orioles on Sunday. Though the two don't see each other as often as they like, each tries to make time to share the secrets of the game in both football and basketball.
"I can't really watch him a lot because I'm doing my own stuff," Junior said. "If I'm doing something wrong [in baseball] he'll give me just a quick tip and the next game I'll go 3 for 4 or something crazy. He just gives me tips and he's pretty good with that because he knows everything, well not everything, that I need to know. So I can tweak my game and make it better."