An Alternative View Of The 2016 Stagecoach California's Country Music Festival
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Today's artist is a former college football player, who also spent a little bit of time under center for the Kansas City Chiefs. A former quarterback for Middle Tennessee University and the University of Alabama Birmingham, he also was pretty good at hitting the books, graduating with a degree in Economics.

Sam Hunt is not your average country singer, as most of his fans will attest to. In 2002, he was named the Offensive Player of the Year at Cedartown High School in Cedartown, GA. The same year he was named to the Georgia Sportswriters Association's All-State team, and was a finalist for the Wendy's High School Heisman Award. He was offered a scholarship to Middle Tennessee State University, where he played sparingly before transferring to the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where he eventually would start seven games his senior year before injuries sidetracked his season.

CRS 2015 - Day 3
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His abilities on the football field did not go unnoticed. Mostly because of the injuries his senior year, Hunt would be passed over during the NFL draft after graduating with a degree in economics in 2007, but the Kansas City Chiefs would take a shot and invite Hunt to training camp, where he would hang around until the final round of cuts, getting the opportunity to play in a couple of preseason games. A few months after his release, Hunt, who had been playing guitar and performing every chance he could while in college, headed to Nashville.

While working odd jobs around town, Hunt polished his songwriting skills, and quickly became a sought after writer in Music City. He wrote Kenny Chesney's 2012 hit "Come Over", for which he won a 2013 ASCAP award. In 2014 both Keith Urban ("Cop Car") and Billy Currington ("We Are Tonight") took Hunt penned tunes to #1, and Hunt also supplied the title track for Reba McEntire's album Love Somebody. In between writing hits for other artists, to take advantage of the reputation was building around Nashville, Hunt released the independent single "Raised On It", which along with his free 12-song mix tape Between The Pines, was released on his website in 2013.

The 49th annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on November 4, 2015 in Nashville, Tennessee.
photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images Entertainment

Hunt signed with MCA Nashville in January of 2014, releasing his debut EP X2C in August, which sold more than 8,000 copies in its first week, debuting at #5 on the Billboard Country Albums chart. His debut single "Leave The Night On" followed in October, and would become the first of 5 #1 hits from Hunt's debut album Montevallo, which would become one of the best selling albums of 2015, reaching double platinum certification.

Hunt has continued writing for other artists, penning the slowest rising #1 hit in country music history, William Michael Morgan's "I Met a Girl", which took 58 weeks climbing the country charts before finally hitting #1 on October 2 of 2016. Of course, Hunt has also been writing for himself, putting together songs for a brand new album for release in 2017, and we have the lead single for that project in our spotlight today. Sam Hunt with "Body Like A Back Road" is today's Catch of the Day, new music you haven't heard, but you'll want to hear it again.

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