WKU head football coach Tyson Helton announced on Thursday the addition of linebackers Malik Staples (Suwanee, Ga.) and Jaden Hunter (Atlanta, Ga.) to the 2019 team roster. Staples, a graduate transfer from Louisville, will be eligible immediately while Hunter, transferring in as a redshirt sophomore from Georgia, will have to sit out due to the NCAA’s transfer rules. WKU is currently seeking a waiver for Hunter’s immediate eligibility. “We are excited to welcome Jaden and Malik to our football program,” Helton said. “Both men add valuable experience and depth in our linebacker unit, and (linebackers coach) Maurice Crum is thrilled to get to work with them.”
Hunter appeared in four games over his two-year career at Georgia and was a consensus four-star prospect out of high school where he played for coach Kareem Reid at Westlake High. Hunter was rated the No. 3 outside linebacker in the nation and No. 46 player nationally by Rivals.com. A 2016 Atlanta Journal-Constitution All-State Class 7A defensive team member, Hunter helped lead Westlake to a trip in the Georgia High School Association playoff semifinals. Staples played for coach Mark Fleetwood at Peachtree Ridge High in Georgia and was a three-star prospect by every major recruiting outlet. After converting from running back to linebacker, Staples was one of two true freshmen to play in 2016 for the Cardinals and appeared in all 13 games on special teams and as a reserve linebacker. Staples appeared in six more games for the Cardinals in 2017. Staples is also a former teammate of offensive lineman Miles Pate as both prepped together at Peachtree Ridge. The Hilltoppers open the campaign with a 6:30 p.m. kickoff on Thursday, August 29 vs. Central Arkansas in the debut of new head coach Tyson Helton. Season tickets are on sale for the 2019 season and start as low as $85 per seat. The Big Red Family Plan returns in 2019 and includes four season tickets in Section 325 for only $220 – just $9 per person, per game.
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