Panther pros continue to find their at next level

Former Georgia State player RJ Hunter watches a free throw during a game against Louisiana–Lafayette. Photo by Jade Johnson | The Signal

New Orleans Saints kicker Wil Lutz arguably ended up with the best professional season for any former Panther in 2016. Lutz finished the regular season with a Saints record of 28 field goals, ending the year with 13 consecutive makes. Lutz earned a spot on Mel Kiper’s NFL All-Rookie Team. Lutz remains Georgia State’s all-time leader in field goals (31), extra points (120), and points (213). Arizona Cardinals offensive tackle Ulrick John started his first three NFL games this season, with his first being in the Georgia Dome against the Atlanta Falcons. John was the second Panther ever to be drafted in the NFL, going to the Indianapolis Colts in the 2014 seventh round. Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Albert Wilson brought down 31 catches for an average of nine yards in the 2016 regular season. Wilson scored two touchdowns, including a 55-yard run against the Atlanta Falcons in the Georgia Dome on Dec. 4. Wilson and Chiefs continue their season journey as the second seed in the AFC Playoffs. In 2016, Robert Davis broke Wilson’s previously held Georgia State records in receptions (222) and receiving yards (3,391), but Wilson still leads the Panthers all-time list in receiving touchdowns with 23 touchdowns.

NBA guard R.J. Hunter signed with the Long Island Nets of the NBA D-League on Jan. 6. Hunter was waived by the Chicago Bulls on Dec. 29 after appearing in only three games for Chicago this season. Hunter played 13 games in the D-League before signing with Long Island, averaging 15.6 points, 4.4 rebounds, 3.6 assists, and 1.9 steals in 32.2 minutes per game. Earlier this season with the Windy City Bulls, he’s averaged 18.6 points a game. Before the 2016 regular season began, the Boston Celtics waived Hunter on Oct. 24, which was also his 23rd birthday.