No. 27 – Cleveland Browns
Position: Running back
Born/Date of Birth: 6 August, 1995
Place of Birth: Willoughby, Ohio, United States
Height: 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Weight: 216 lb (98 kg)
Education: The University of Toledo (2013–2016), Willoughby South High School
Parents: Stephanie Riggins, Kareem Hunt
High school: South (Willoughby, Ohio)
NFL Draft: 2017 / Round: 3 / Pick: 86
Kareem AJ Hunt (born August 6, 1995) is an American football running back for the Cleveland Browns of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Toledo and was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs in the third round of the 2017 NFL Draft. As a rookie in 2017, he led the NFL in rushing yards and was selected to the Pro Bowl. In November 2018, Hunt was released by the Chiefs after video of a violent incident involving him was released.
Hunt attended South High School in Willoughby, Ohio, where he played for the Rebels football team. He rushed for 2,519 yards and 39 touchdowns as a junior and 2,685 yards and 44 touchdowns as a senior. Hunt was rated by Rivals.com as a three-star recruit and committed to the University of Toledo to play college football.
As a freshman at Toledo in 2013, Hunt played in 12 games with three starts and rushed for 866 yards on 137 carries with six touchdowns. He had a strong four-game stretch in the season with 127 rushing yards and two touchdowns against Navy, 114 rushing yards and a touchdown against Bowling Green, 168 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns against Eastern Michigan, and 186 rushing yards and a touchdown against Buffalo. As a sophomore, he played in 10 games, missing three due to an injury. In the 10 games that he appeared in, he rushed for at least 101 yards in all of them. He rushed for 1,631 yards on 205 carries with 16 touchdowns. He was the MVP of the 2015 GoDaddy Bowl victory over Arkansas State after rushing for 271 yards and five touchdowns, which tied an NCAA record with Barry Sanders.
Hunt was suspended for the first two games of his junior year in 2015 due to a violation of team rules. He returned for the third game, but was injured during the game and missed the next two games. Overall, in the 2015 season, he finished with 973 rushing yards and 12 rushing touchdowns. In 2016, Hunt played all 13 games, leading the MAC in both rush attempts (262) and yards (1,475), including 200 rushing yards in the loss at #14 Western Michigan. His 4,945 career rushing yards broke Chester Taylor's school record, and was third all time in MAC conference history. In addition, he holds career school records for yards per rush (6.3, with a minimum of 100 rushes), and total yards from scrimmage (5,500).
Kansas City Chiefs
2017 season: Rookie year
Following a knee injury to starting running back Spencer Ware in the Chiefs' third preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks, Hunt was named starting running back for the Chiefs on August 27, 2017.
Hunt made his NFL debut on September 7, 2017, against the New England Patriots on Thursday Night Football. On his first career NFL carry, despite never losing a fumble during his college career, Hunt fumbled, with the ball being recovered by the Patriots' safety Devin McCourty. Hunt went on to catch two touchdown passes - a three-yarder from quarterback Alex Smith late in the first half, and a 78-yarder in the fourth quarter, and punched in a four-yard rushing touchdown in the fourth en route to a 42–27 Chiefs win. Hunt finished with 246 total yards from scrimmage (148 rushing, 98 receiving), the most ever in an NFL debut. He joined stars Marshall Faulk (for the Indianapolis Colts in 1994, 174 yards) and Billy Sims (for the Detroit Lions in 1980, 217 yards), as the only NFL players since 1970 to debut with over 150 scrimmage yards and three touchdowns. His 148 rushing yards led all NFL rushers for Week 1. Hunt was named the AFC Offensive Player of the Month for the month of September after leading the NFL with 401 rushing yards, 538 yards from scrimmage, and 8.53 yards per carry. In a Week 7 31–30 loss to the Oakland Raiders, he had 117 total scrimmage yards for his seventh straight game accomplishing the feat.
On December 19, 2017, Hunt was named to the 2018 Pro Bowl as a rookie. Heading into Week 17, Hunt was third in the NFL in rushing yards behind Todd Gurley and Le'Veon Bell. Both Gurley and Bell were inactive for Week 17 after both teams clinched the playoffs and were resting their players, giving Hunt a chance to claim the rushing title. On his first, and only, carry of the game, he went for 35 yards for the touchdown, passing both Bell and Gurley, giving Hunt the rushing yards title for the 2017 season with 1,327 yards. This marked the second season in a row where a rookie led the league in rushing (Ezekiel Elliott in 2016). He was ranked 33rd on the NFL Top 100 Players of 2018.
The Chiefs finished with a 10–6 record and qualified for the playoffs in the 2017 season. In the Wild Card Round against the Tennessee Titans, Hunt finished with 11 carries for 42 yards and his first NFL postseason rushing touchdown in the 22–21 defeat.
Hunt remained the Chiefs' main running back going into the 2018 season. During Week 3, he recorded his second career game with two rushing touchdowns in the 38–27 victory over the San Francisco 49ers. In Week 4, on Monday Night Football against the Denver Broncos, he rushed for 121 yards and a touchdown and caught three passes for 54 yards. On October 6, Hunt was fined $26,739 for a hit where he intentionally lowered his helmet. In a Week 6 matchup against the New England Patriots, Hunt rushed for 80 yards and caught five passes for 105 yards and a 67-yard touchdown. In a Week 7 45-10 home victory against the Cincinnati Bengals, Hunt rushed for 86 yards and a touchdown and caught five passes for 55 yards and two touchdowns. Hunt continued his momentum in Week 8 against the Broncos, rushing for 50 yards and catching five passes for 36 yards and a touchdown. In Week 9, Hunt rushed for 91 yards and two touchdowns, along with one catch for 50 yards and a touchdown in a 37-21 road victory over the Cleveland Browns, earning him AFC Offensive Player of the Week. In a Week 11 road loss to the Los Angeles Rams, in what turned out to be Hunt's final game as a Chief, he rushed for 28 yards and caught six passes for 41 yards and a touchdown.
On November 30, 2018, TMZ released a video of Hunt involved in an altercation with a woman in a hotel from the previous February. Later that same day, Hunt was placed on the commissioner's exempt list, prohibiting him from practicing and playing with the team. Shortly after being placed on the exempt list, the Chiefs released him. Chiefs co-owner and CEO Clark Hunt released a statement following his release indicating that Hunt was not truthful when the Chiefs asked him about the incident.
Hunt was signed by the Cleveland Browns on February 11, 2019. Due to the pending investigation from the NFL into the domestic violence allegations against him, Hunt was placed on the Commissioner’s Exempt list after signing his contract. On March 15, 2019, the NFL announced that Hunt had been suspended for the first eight games of the 2019 season for violating the league's personal conduct policy. He will be able to participate in all off-season workouts and all preseason games. Following the announcement, Hunt was added to the Browns' active roster.
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