Position, years at Arizona: Linebacker, 1981-84
Honors, accomplishments at UA: Ranks sixth in career tackles with 400. … First-team All-Pac-10 in 1984. … Third-team Football News All-American in 1984.
Why he made our list: UA has turned out more quality at linebacker than at any other position, and Hunley stood tall on the inside alongside his brother, All-American Ricky Hunley, who arrived in Tucson from Virginia one year before LaMonte. They played three seasons together for coach Larry Smith, and Sports Illustrated referred to them in 1983 as “Fire and Smoke, Mean and Nasty, Gotcha Now and Getcha Later.”
In 1998 ESPN.com’s Bruce Feldman ranked the top single-season performances for brothers/teammates in college football history. The 1983 season of Ricky and LaMonte Hunley was fourth.
“Playing alongside Ricky was fun,” LaMonte told the athletic department’s website in 2008. “Having my brother next to me made my collegiate playing experience easier. Ricky and I studied the game together, watch film together and he helped me in the transition to college life both on and off the field.”
After Ricky moved on to the NFL, LaMonte led the Wildcats in tackles with 72 in 1984, bridging the star linebacker gap from his brother to Byron Evans. Smith, in that Sports Illustrated story, paid LaMonte the highest compliment possible when he said, “He’s just like Ricky.”
Life after college: Hunley was undrafted but caught on with the Indianapolis Colts during the 1985 and 1986 seasons, appearing in 22 games. Hunley, with a UA degree in business, lives in Tucson and is the co-owner of Arizona Health, which specializes in residential and commercial exercise equipment. The company has been in business since 1985, with Hunley joining in 1993. Hunley, 50, is active in the community and can often be seen working the grill at big UA tailgate parties. His daughter, Devyn, a Sabino High grad, will be a freshman soccer player at Arizona this fall.
We are counting down the top 50 football players in Arizona Wildcats history. Leave your top 10 at AG’s Wildcat Report on Facebook.
Top Arizona football players by jersey number: LaMonte Hunley is the best No. 98