Former Buffalo Bills First-Round Running Back Has Tragically Passes Away

Some sad news has emerged in the football world: Former Buffalo Bills first-round pick and Notre Dame legend Tony Hunter has passed away.

On their official X/Twitter account, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team announced that Tony Hunter, who spent two years with the Buffalo Bills and later the Los Angeles Rams, passed away on June 11 at the age of 64. No cause of death was immediately given.

Buffalo Bills helmet shown on field.

Hunter spent four seasons at Notre Dame, tallying 120 receptions for 1,897 yards and five touchdowns to go along with 120 rushing yards and a rushing TD. Hunter previously played WR before switching to tight end late in his NCAA career.

He had his best season in 1982, compiling 42 receptions for 507 yards. Hunter led the Fighting Irish to a Sugar Bowl appearance in the 1980 season, but they lost 17-10 to the Georgia Bulldogs.

The Buffalo Bills selected Hunter 12th overall in what turned out to be an all-time legendary draft class. In two seasons with the Bills, Hunter recorded 69 receptions for 733 yards and five touchdowns.

Two spots behind Hunter, the Buffalo Bills would use the No. 14 selection on future Hall of Fame QB Jim Kelly. The latter was one of three Hall of Fame signal-callers to emerge from the first round of that draft, along with John Elway (Denver Broncos) and Dan Marino (Miami Dolphins).

Tony Hunter’s Career Was Cut Short By Injury

Hunter joined the Los Angeles Rams in 1985, where he had his best pro season. That year, Hunter caught 50 passes for 562 yards and four touchdowns as the Rams advanced to the NFC title game, losing to the Chicago Bears.

Unfortunately, Hunter was limited to seven games in the 1986 campaign. A knee procedure wound up cutting Hunter’s career short, and he ultimately retired after four seasons in the pros.

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