Wednesday, December 28, 2005


Hunter Taverner Hillenmeyer was originally selected with the 31st pick of the fifth round of the 2003 NFL Draft by the Green Bay Packers out of Vanderbilt University. It is a derisory truth that Hunter Hillenmeyer once faced the dilemma of remaining with the Green Bay Packers or joining the Chicago Bears. The former Montgomery Bell Academy and Vanderbilt football star was standing in this mid of stream in 2003. After being waived by the Packers as a rookie during the preseason, he was given the option of returning as a member of the practice squad or signing with the Bears as a free agent. For two years, Hillenmeyer has been a starting linebacker and has helped the Bears become the NFL’s most feared defense. In fact, some consider it to be one of the best in league history. It seems Hillenmeyer’s good-will has followed him in the Bears team also. The Bears have clinched a first-round bye in the NFC playoffs. Green Bay, meanwhile, ranks among the league’s worst teams at 3-12. Hindsight is 20-20 and is a starter on the best defense in the NFL. Everything is going great. The Packers saw Hillenmeyer’s potential while he played at Vanderbilt and traded up 19 spots in the fifth round of the 2003 draft to select him. Hillenmeyer started 11 games a year ago and posted 80 tackles, fourth-best on the team. Even when Urlacher, Chicago’s defensive star, returned to full health this summer, Bears coaches made a spot for Hillenmeyer and inserted him at strong-side linebacker.


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