Q&A Interview with UFL Arlington Renegades’ RB Dae Dae Hunter

Q: Dae Dae, thanks for joining us. Let’s dive into your journey. Can you share your path from high school in Denver?

A: I spent my high school time in Denver, Colorado. I did my first three up until my junior year. In Denver, Colorado, I went to Thomas Jefferson High School. I never lived by it, but I went to that school, and it was a far journey.

So, with that and the snow and stuff like that, I transferred to my home school in Colorado. They ruled me ineligible to play. And it was wild because I lived five minutes away from that school.

So then boom, God allowed my whole family and me to go to Arizona. So my stepmom and pops got better jobs around the same time. And then, the entire family moved up to Arizona, which allowed me to play for my senior year because they had ruled me out for my senior year in Colorado.

I get to Arizona, and it’s two weeks before school starts. I am at Chandler High School, a nationally ranked school.

Q: Your high school journey was quite a ride. How did the move to Arizona and playing at Chandler High School shape your football career?

A: So everybody had offers on that team. So then, by the time the season started, I ended up getting the starting position, and then I snapped off. I won the Offensive Player of the Year and state MVP, and we ended up winning state.

I got all my offers from there in Arizona. So, my senior year is when I got all my offers. My first offer was a D2, my second offer was Wyoming, and then another D2 and all the offers started coming in.

Q: It sounds like your senior year was a turning point. How did you end up in Hawaii for college, and what challenges did you face during your time there?

A: Hawaii got to calling and asked me if I wanted to go on a visit. It was like a day after the state game, and I said, oh man, I have to go, I have to go. So then we won state; I went for about 250 in the state game, won MVP, was the Offensive Player of the Year, Coach nominated-Player of the Year, etc. 

I went to Hawaii for a visit, which was the first time I saw the ocean. And then, when I got off the plane, I was shaken. And at the time, they were good; they just beat BYU in a ball game; they’re a 10-2, and the running back had some excellent yardage up there. So I was like, okay, you all are smooth, I can rock. My coaches told me not to commit early, but it could have been anybody at that point, and I would choose Hawaii where I wanted to go. 

During that time, it was the start of COVID. So boom, my whole coaching staff left Hawaii, and that’s been a lot of problems in my college career. So my coach I committed to, Coach Rolo, went for Washington State, and then I was stuck in a bind, so I stayed committed.

I went out there and had a fantastic time, an extraordinary life. Hawaii is a different place to be, especially going to school. So, it was a fun time in my life, but I knew I wanted to play football, and football in Hawaii needed to get it done to the dreams I wanted to accomplish.

Q: Dae Dae, talk us through the whole deal of moving from Hawaii to Liberty. How did that come about, and what was Liberty like for you?

A: I hit the transfer portal in my second season in 2022 at Hawaii. I wanted better football opportunities on the mainland. Hawaii’s cool, but I needed something more in terms of football. It was a business decision, you know? The time zone difference meant my family couldn’t watch my games, and those long flights weren’t helping either. Leaving Hawaii was tough, but I had to think about my career.

Liberty was one of the schools that hit me up. I wasn’t keen on visiting, but Liberty’s running back coach insisted. Being from the West Coast, you hear Lynchburg, Virginia; it doesn’t sound too amusing. I got to Liberty, and it shook my eyes what Liberty was; the facilities were top-notch, like Arizona State or CU. Coaches like Coach Freeze and Coach Dom made me feel at home. Plus, the upcoming schedule against Wake Forest, Arkansas, BYU, and Virginia Tech looked promising for showcasing my skills.

My time at Liberty was solid. The 2022 season became my favorite. Lots of fun, crazy games, and we traveled to places I’d never seen. The eighth game, though, was a bummer. I got injured during our game against Arkansas. It was a group tackle, and somebody came in and hit my leg.

So it was like boom, bop, so that whole day was crazy. I found out my hamstring and my LCL fell off the fibula. So, it was a blessing and a curse. The good thing about it was it was an easy recovery. So, I walked without a brace after a month, and two months later, I could do a backflip. The recovery was smooth, and I bounced back quickly.

Things changed slightly with the coaching staff leaving for Auburn. Coach Chadwell came in, but we needed to be on the same page. I like playing against the best, and it didn’t happen after the staff changes.

So, hit the transfer portal again, looking for new opportunities.

Q: How did the opportunity with the Arlington Renegades in the UFL come about after your college journey?

A: Once I hit the portal, I wasn’t thinking immediately that I would go pro. That was different from my mindset. I was trying to go back and get to a P5 so I could play the best of the best in college football. You only get one opportunity in life to do that.

But then, when I entered the portal in the summer, I had gotten in contact with Rick Mueller. He was one of the Director of Player Personnel dudes up there. A great guy. He told me he has connections at Liberty. So, he saw my game and was familiar with it. And then basically that they’d love to see me out there.

Q: Looking ahead to the upcoming UFL season, what can Arlington Renegades fans expect from you?

A: I already know the Arlington Renegades will have a different type of personality than many other personalities on the team. I’ve been playing ball for a long time and was always naturally good at playing football. So running the ball, catching it, tackling it, you always go. You give it a hundred percent effort; no matter what play it is, it will always be me trying to win.

Q: Beyond football, what are your hobbies and interests outside the game?

A: Oh, I love to go shooting. Shooting is super fun. When I’m in Arizona, we do that a lot. Just go out in the middle of the desert. And then some of my friends have land and stuff like that, so go shooting.

I also really love to laugh. I wouldn’t say I like to sit around too much. So, whatever entails laughing, whether it’s me and my friends going to play basketball at the park, going to play the game for a second, I like having a good time and just laughing and having fun. But I also like being around my family. That’s big, just seeing my little siblings and being around them. It’s always a blessing.

Q: Any message to the Arlington Renegade’s fan base as they eagerly anticipate the upcoming season?

A: This is going to be a remarkable year full of blessings. We can’t wait to show you all on March 30th what the new team has, and we’ll return a winner—many touchdowns and big plays coming soon in this 2024 season.

As we conclude this insightful interview with Dae Dae Hunter, his story resonates as a testament to the complex decisions and sacrifices student-athletes make to carve their path in the football realm. A player of both skill and determination, Hunter’s narrative leaves us eager to witness the following chapters in his promising career as he continues to chase excellence on the field.

Also, be sure to tune in on March 30th when Arlington Renegades face off against Birmingham Stallions to kick off the UFL season and see athletes like Dae Dae Hunter take the field. 

author avatar
Omar Saulters

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