Country Music Stars You Didn’t Know Played Football: Sam Hunt
Sam Hunt hasn’t always been the same Sam Hunt that belts out to “House Party”, or sings ballads like “Make You Miss Me.” Sam Hunt was actually a star football player, both in high school and in college.
Sam played quarterback at Cedartown High School, in Cedartown, Georgia. He was Georgia’s Co-Offensive Player of the Year in 2022 and was selected for the Georgia Sportswriters Association All-State Class AAA first-team. His success at quarterback also got him a nomination for the High School Heisman award.
In college, Sam went from Middle Tennessee State (played in six games, attempted one pass), to transferring to UAB (University of Alabama Birmingham) and starting there in 2006 and 2007. In 2006, Sam threw for 655 yards and 2 touchdowns. He almost beat Oklahoma that year, keeping UAB in the lead through three quarters. Adrian Peterson was the running back at Oklahoma at the time. In 2007, he picked it up a bit and threw for 1905 yards and 10 touchdowns. He also ran with his legs for two touchdowns in his 2007 year. This was over a sample size of 19 games total that he started.
His potential football career didn’t stop there. The NFL was calling Sam’s name, and he even got invited to training camp for the Kansas City Chiefs. Unfortunately, after two months, he was made aware that it wasn’t going to work out, but he mentioned it was still a “once-in-a-lifetime” opportunity.
UAB was pretty good to Sam over the years. In addition to playing football at UAB, he also met his wife, Hannah Fowler, while in Birmingham. “Montevallo”, his debut album, is actually named after Fowler’s hometown of Montevallo, Alabama. He also taught himself to play acoustic guitar after practice every day, which may have set him up for some future success…
When all said and done, football wasn’t in Sam’s future, but moving to Nashville and pursuing country music was. He moved with only “some food and two mattresses and his mom’s minivan.” He signed with MCA Nashville in 2014, and wrote singles for the likes of Kenny Chesney, Billy Currington, Reba McEntire, and Keith Urban before blowing up after his release of Montevallo.
Sam may not be playing football anymore, but he is continuing to have sustained success. His current single, “Water Under The Bridge” is sitting at #28 on the Mediabase Country Charts.