GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Brett Hundley is filling the biggest shoes in the NFL.
The third-year quarterback will make his first NFL start for the Packers this Sunday against the New Orleans Saints in place of Aaron Rodgers, whose broken collarbone will require surgery that could end his season.
Here’s a look at the 24-year-old on and off the field:
Draft-day disappointment: Rodgers isn’t the only quarterback in the Packers’ locker room to experience a draft-day disappointment. Rodgers’ drop from the possible No. 1 overall pick to No. 24 at least kept him in the first round in 2005. Hundley thought he would come off the board well before the fifth round in the 2015 draft after a highly successful career at UCLA, where he finished as the school’s career touchdown leader (75). Hundley didn’t leave school a year early to slip all the way to the fifth round, and he didn’t hide his disappointment. “I have a chip on my shoulder, and I’m coming in to work, and that’s what I’ve come down to do,” he said shortly after the draft. “It’s a blessing in disguise.”
Preseason sensation: If there’s a team that knows something about what Hundley can do, it’s the Saints. It was in the 2015 preseason finale against them when Hundley threw four touchdown passes to finish off what was perhaps the most impressive display of summer quarterbacking that season. In that game, Hundley completed 16 of 23 passes for 236 yards and four touchdowns to finish with a 142.4 rating. Hundley led the NFL with 630 passing yards that summer, while throwing seven touchdowns and one interception. “He’s picked it up quickly,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said at the time.
Mentor-protégé relationship: Hundley’s locker at Lambeau Field is right next to Rodgers', and the two can be seen chatting during times when the locker room is open to the media. From the start, Rodgers has served as a mentor and a friend to Hundley. They’re both ultracompetitive, even in meetings when it comes to answering QB coach Alex Van Pelt’s quizzes or away from the stadium, where they've been known to battle on the pingpong table. If there were questions about whether Brett Favre helped Rodgers when Rodgers was the backup, there are none of those when it comes to Rodgers and Hundley. “He learns from the best,” Packers receiver Davante Adams said. “He’s in there. He does the same thing in practice all week. He tries to take full control of the huddle, making sure guys know where to be, adjustment and things like that. His ears are open.”
Photography, music and philanthropy: Away from football, Hundley is an amateur photographer who this summer had the chance to shoot an IndyCar race from the pits at nearby Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.
📸 Just your casual photographer pic.twitter.com/C8Ou6ubBum
— Brett A. Hundley Jr (@BrettHundley17) June 25, 2017
His wife, Dawnielle, is an R&B/Pop singer and songwriter who performs under the stage name Dionne Anylah. Hundley was recently named an ambassador for “Athletes vs. Epilepsy” -- a cause that he became involved with because his sister, Paris, suffers from epilepsy.