DUBLIN — Hunter Pait, who lead the Knights football team in Friday night tackles over the past two seasons, made one final tackle on Friday when he chased down a spot with the Wingate University Bulldogs.
Pait will be a preferred walk-on in the fall and expects to be redshirted his freshman season.
“I think Wingate will be a good fit for Hunter,” said Todd Pait, no relation, who coached Hunter his senior season. “If he puts the work in — which I feel very sure he will — he’ll do well.
“I wish I had 10 like him last season,” he added. “Hunter was my quarterback on the defense.”
Hunter Pait had 103 tackles from his linebacker position during the 2016 season, more than half of them solo, and added two sacks. And once he set his sights on college, Wingate quickly rose to the top.
“He was looked at by a number of schools, but I think he had his heart set on Wingate,” Todd Pait said.
That’s because Wingate had exactly what Hunter was looking for.
“I liked the coaches and the football program — and it was a good choice academically,” Hunter said, who added that he plans to major in physical education with an emphasis on coaching.
Along with getting redshirted, Hunter also expects to get moved from linebacker to defensive end for the Bulldogs.
“But I really need to get into the weight room and beef up,” he said. “I’m ready to get going.”
Coach Pait said his former linebacker has always been a hard-working player and sees no reason that won’t continue.
“Once he gets into the weightlifting program there, he’ll really start to fill out,” Todd Pait said.
Wingate University, which plays out of the South Atlantic Conference, finished 8-3 overall and 5-2 in the conference in 2016. Head coach Joe Reich has led the Bulldogs for 16 seasons and 101-73 during his tenure.
Other area players on the Wingate roster include quarterback Dylan Williams out of Whiteville; fullback Daniel McRainey out of West Brunswick; linebacker Nick Anta out of Gray’s Creek; offensive lineman Spencer Campbell out of Whiteville; linebacker Hunter Lowry out of Lumberton; and linebacker Bryce Swindell out of Lumberton.
W. Curt Vincent can be reached by calling 910-862-4163.