Friday, January 15, 2010

QB's of the 2000's: Steve Hunsberger

Like this picture, we never really saw enough of Steve Hunsberger

He was fast, but he wasn't tall.

He had a gun for an arm, but he was young.

The above sentences could easily be written about current Columbia starting QB Sean Brackett, but before there was Brackett, there was Steve Hunsberger.

Steve came from the rich football country of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania where he starred at football, basketball and track.

But at barely 5-foot-11, he didn't grab the attention of the big BCS schools.

Hunsberger understudied for Jeff McCall for his first two years before having an outstanding 2002 spring game and winning the starting job hands down.

He has a spectacular debut as he lead the Lions to a 13-11 win over Fordham at Wien Stadium in the inaugural Libery Cup game. Hunsberger scored the first TD of the game on a one-yard run after leading the lions 96 yards down the field on 15 plays. He finished the game 21 of 35 for 221 yards, and one INT. He also ran the ball 17 times for, (sack yards lost included), 48 yards.

The next week, the 2002 season took a tough turn when star offensive lineman Kevin Coco went down with a serious injury in a big loss to Colgate in Hamilton, NY.

But the following week, Hunsberger established himself as a fighter. In a gut-wrenching 35-32 homecoming loss to Princeton, he went 31-for-59 for 239 yards, two TD's and no INT's. He also ran 15 times for 66 yards.

The season went downhill from there, but Hunsberger broke the 200 yards passing mark four more times to finish the year with 2,023 yards on 212 completions, six TD's and eight INT's. He also ran for another six TD's and had a long run of 31 yards.

Things were looking up for Hunsberger for the 2003 when very bad luck struck. During spring practice, he tore his ACL and lost his starting job to Jeff Otis. This lost him the chance to play with the spectacular tight end Wade Fletcher, who had been a ineligible transer through 2002.

Hunsberger did make one final appearance for the Lions. In the waning minutes of the 2003 season finale against Brown, Hunsberger came off the bench and received one of the best ovations I've ever heard for a player coming in late to a game.

For his career, Hunsberger's were as follows:

He was 248-for-433 for a .572 completion percentage.

Seven TD passes. 11 Interceptions.

As a rusher, he had 362 yards on 182 carries and nine TD's.

In retrospect, Steve Hunsberger was a bit ahead of his time. The move to QB's who can run and throw like #14 did is now all the rage in the Ivies.

But the injury demons had their way with him and he missed out on a bigger chance to shine.


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