CLEVELAND, Ohio — Kareem Hunt got the win and his old friend’s jersey as the Browns topped the Steelers on Thursday night, 29-17.
Hunt goes way back with Steelers quarterback Mitchell Trubisky. Both starred at Willoughby South and Mentor, respectively from 2009-12, graduating in 2013. The duo led the cleveland.com all-decade football team in 2020.
After the Cleveland win, the two swapped jerseys on the field, Hunt showed off Trubisky’s at his locker as he met with reporters after the game.
“We go way back,” Hunt said. “Like elementary school, pee-wee football, middle school, high school basketball.
“I always wish the best for him. He’s a heck of a player — Mitch — and a good friend of mine, too, even though we went to different schools.”
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Hunt ended Thursday night with 61 yards from the line of scrimmage, getting 12 carries and three catches on four targets. Trubisky completed 20 of 32 passes (62.5%) for 207 yards. He rushed twice for 7 yards and a score in the second quarter.
Trubisky was taken by the Chicago Bears second overall in the 2017 NFL Draft after starring at North Carolina in college. At Mentor, he was the recipient of Ohio’s Mr. Football Award in 2012. He spent last season with the Bills backing up Josh Allen before joining the Steelers this offseason, signing a two-year deal.
Hunt was a two-time All-Ohio first-team selection as a junior and senior at Willoughby South. In 2012 as a senior, he rushed for 2,508 yards on just 227 carries (an 11-yard average) and 42 touchdowns. He was an underrated recruit but was drafted by Kansas City in 2017 after excelling at Toledo.
Previously, Hunt recounted to cleveland.com stories of the seven-on-seven competitions he would play in while in high school, going against Trubisky and fellow Browns teammate and Nordonia graduate Denzel Ward. Hunt joked that Willoughby South never lost those contests and maintained that on Thursday, too.
“No, we did not lose,” he said. “I played Denzel in seven-on-seven and I played him (Trubisky). Willoughby South always came out on top. … I’ve always got to make sure he knows that.”
Hunt has developed a reputation as one of the hardest runners in the game over the last five years, but even still, he seems to run with a little extra flair whenever he plays the Steelers.
Being from the area, it’s clear how much he appreciates the history between these two teams.
“Growing up, the Steelers had our number every time we played them,” Hunt said. “So the tables have turned. We’re trying to make sure we keep collecting wins against those guys and everybody in this division.”
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