Hunter started the first three games of the season at safety for Florida State after working as the team's top nickel corner last year. He finished 2012 with 26 tackles and tied for the team lead with three interceptions.
"He will be out for the season, but he expects to make a full recovery," head coach Jimbo Fisher said.
Hunter suffered the injury early in FSU's Sept. 21 game against Bethune-Cookman. He left the field under his own power, but appeared to experience numbness in his hands afterward.
In the following days, there were concerns the injury could be career threatening, but Fisher said the school sought out myriad opinions from specialists and Hunter's most significant concerns were alleviated.
"You don't ever know," Fisher said. "When you get into the neck, until they go in there -- that's why we sent them to the best people in the world, the top people who do the NFL stuff and see tons of them."
Hunter had surgery in Chicago, and tweeted afterward that he expected to return to the field in 2014.
Nole Nation no worries I will be back next year bigger, faster, and stronger... Minor setback for a major comeback.... #GoNoles
— Tyler Hunter (@THunterOne) October 8, 2013
Hunter was among Florida State's most improved defenders this offseason, Fisher said, and he'd opened the season strong, recording eight tackles and an interception before the injury.
With Hunter out, true freshman Jalen Ramsey has started the past two games at safety and expects to do so again when FSU returns to the field on Oct. 19 against No. 3 Clemson.
Ramsey started the opener at cornerback, the first Florida State true freshman to do so since Deion Sanders, but Fisher said he'd spent enough time cross-training between the two positions this summer that the transition was not difficult.
"We feel very good about where he's at," Fisher said. "The more time he's there and the more reps you get, but we've been cross-training for a long time."