From cornerback Derrick Thomas, formerly from Penn State: "I definitely like having D.J. on my side. D.J. is one of the better tacklers on the team, coming down from safety. He's one of the most athletic people at that position. If he can put on some or weight physically, that can be a good fit for him."
From middle linebacker Jermaine Holmes: "Coming from safety, taking on the O-line, they've got a few more pounds than him. He's playing really good, though. I know they underestimate him, but he's playing well."
Bazzie, who calls Hunter a "Tasmanian devil," had the most to say about Hunter. OK, so Bazzie has the most to say on many subjects, but hear him out on Hunter's crash-course development.
"One thing I remember I had to tell him was, 'I know you switched positions and you don't know a lot that's going on when you get the call sometimes, but I do know one thing about you: You go full speed,' " Bazzie said. " 'And when you go full speed, you play well.'
"Instead of worrying, he'll come up to me and say, 'Bro, I didn't even know the last play.' And I'm like, 'Man, did you go 100 percent?' He said, 'Yeah, I got the tackle.' I said, 'At least Coach will coach you up on what you're supposed to do, instead of yell at you for missing a tackle and not doing what you're supposed to do.'
"We just started laughing."
Suffice it to say, Hunter will spend the rest of the season picking up the nuances of the position. He may even switch back to safety after LeGrande and Okoroha depart.
But as the Herd enters the season's second half after a bye this week, Hunter will play a substantial role in the defense's improvement, or lack thereof. He has his teammates' confidence.
"I think he came a long way with switching positions two times and just having a lot on his mind, technique-wise and what to do, and wanting to help out the team. He's coming along fast," Bazzie said.
Marshall returns to action Oct. 20 at Southern Mississippi.
Reach Doug Smock at 304-348-5130 or dougsm...@wvgazette.com or follow him at twitter.com/dougsmock.