Jason McCarthy has impressed with League 2 side Wycombe Wanderers, while Sam McQueen, Lloyd Isgrove, Jordan Turnbull and Jack Stephens are all enjoying temporary spells in League 1.
And Hunter says the decision to send the five youngsters out on loan to Football League clubs has paid dividends already.
“We’ve got to the stage now where the players are too good to play at Under-21 level and therefore they need to be tested in senior football,” Hunter told youtube.com/southamptonfc
“All of them have done that. Jason hasn’t missed a minute and I know he’s an influence in the Wycombe dressing room.
“We’re pleased with all of the players. We try and keep tabs on them and we always get sent their clips. We’ve done several reviews this season.
“I’ve been up to Barnsley to see Lloyd. Jordan, Jack, Sam and Macca have all been in and done their reviews. It’s important there is a link with the club.
“We have to show we care about them and see the progress they are making.”
All five players could be involved in play-off pushes this season, much like Turnbull and Stephens were with Swindon Town last season, and Hunter says that experience is invaluable.
“Firstly the number of games they are playing and the frequency is absolutely vital,” Hunter added.
“The Football League is tough, the boys are able to play Tuesday and Saturday and it shows they are physically ready.
“They will learn an enormous amount about different styles of football and that’s a good experience for them.
“They’ve had the grounding in the Under-21s and now it’s a different problem for them to solve.”