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Ouachita Christian quarterback Hunter Herring (11), shown here running in one of his seven touchdowns in the state title game in December, verbally committed to UL's football program Friday.

There was a time not long ago that baseball filled the mind of Ouachita Christian quarterback Hunter Herring.

He even verbally committed to ULM’s baseball program last spring.

But after a record-breaking senior season last fall that brought home a state football championship, Herring decided to keep his options open for any football interest.

There was plenty of it, including from the Ragin’ Cajuns.

On Friday, his decision paid off in a big way when the 6-foot-4, 210-pound Herring announced a verbal commitment to UL’s football program.

“I used to joke around about it (playing football),” Herring said. “I could see it happening, but it wasn’t my thing. I was all baseball. I wanted to play college baseball and make it to the Major Leagues.

“But it all kind of opened up after this past football season. I saw what I could do and it just kind of opened up for me. There’s just something about football. There’s more hype to it. There’s just a feeling I get when I play football.“

During his senior season, Herring threw for more than 1,800 yards and ran for over another 1,100, accounting for a total of 52 touchdowns along the way. In the 67-22 state championship win over Catholic High of Pointe Coupee alone, Herring ran for four touchdowns and threw for three more.

Herring ran a spread offense at Ouachita Christian “with lots of options and a lot of RPOs.”

Not surprisingly, heads were turned and one of the offers he got was from UL, which he was able to visit just before the coronavirus shutdown.

“Just getting down there and seeing the facilities was a big thing,” Herring said. “I love the coaching staff. They made it feel like home from the second I got there. They do good with their players, not just as players but as people. We went to a practice and I loved how all the quarterbacks came up to me and approached me. It was just a family environment and that’s really huge to me.

“Coach Napier is a great guy and a great Christian guy. That’s another thing that stands out to me.”

Herring also had visits to Southern Mississippi, Tulane and Houston scheduled, but all of those plans were canceled because of COVID-19.

“I think I would have made the same decision anyway,” Herring said. “Just the culture down there at UL and the way they develop their guys is something that’s unreal. You don’t get that kind of development at some of these big Power Five schools. I would have made the same decision.”

Herring is aware that UL’s current starting quarterback is a senior in Levi Lewis.

“From what they’ve told me, I’ll be able to come in and compete,” Herring said.

To help his cause, Herring plans on graduating early from Ouachita Christian in Monroe and enrolling at UL next spring “to get me ready for the race.”

Herring said he's not shutting the door on potentially playing baseball at UL one day, but his current focus is on climbing the quarterback depth chart.


Email Kevin Foote at kfoote@theadvocate.com.