TROY, AL (WSFA) - "It's been a roller coaster for sure, but I wouldn't trade it for anything," said Troy linebacker Hunter Reese.
Reese is flourishing as a key member of the Trojan defense, heading into his final season in the cardinal and white.
"He understands how everything works," said defensive coordinator Vic Koenning. "He's able to put himself in position. He'll pre-snap a line to get the line to go a certain direction and he'll end up somewhere else."
The Wetumpka native originally came to Troy as a walk-on in 2014. After being redshirted in 2014, Reese would see limited playing time over the next two seasons.
Reese would play in just nine games combined in 2015 and 2016 due to an injury.
After getting healthy, Reese would then break on to the scene for the Trojans in 2017 as he lead the team in tackles and earned All-Sun Belt First Team honors.
"It's been the best four years," said Reese. "I came in with nobody knowing who I was. I just keep working hard and it paid off."
"He's really kind of taking it to another level," said Koenning. "I'm really proud of the things he's done."
The highlight of Reese's Troy career came one year ago. After spending three years as a walk/on, Reese was awarded a full-ride scholarship after practice. Something he worked towards his entire time at Troy.
"It's been a lot of hard work," said Reese. "Just believing in myself. There was a lot of times where I didn't know if I would ever get to this position, but I always kept believing and just kept working and never gave up."
His infectious attitude and hard work ethic has been noticed by several of his teammates.
"Hunter Reese is slippery," said offensive lineman Deontae Crumtie. "He's real slippery. If you lunge, he'll duck and get past you. He's a really good player."
"It's so fun to watch him play because I know where he came from," said quarterback Sawyer Smith. "He was a walk-on now he's a scholarship guy and first team all-Sun Belt. Watching him play, it's really fun out there. I'm sure the offensive line has a tough time with him."
2018 will be Reese's first year beginning the season as the starter as he looks to help lead the Trojans to another Sun Belt Conference title.