Tech’s Stephen Hill making a strong impression on the field

Stephen Hill has proven to be quite a catch for the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets.

Stephen Hill has proven to be quite a catch for the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets.

I was real excited about getting the chance to talk to Georgia Tech’s freshman wide receiver Stephen Hill yesterday. Apparently he was not equally excited to talk to me.

And that’s OK. Hill signed with the Yellow Jackets out of Lithonia’s Miller Grove High to catch footballs, make plays and block better than your average wideout. He’s not there because of his riveting interviews.

Reports on the football side of things in Tech’s camp have all been very positive regarding Hill. The 6-foot-4, 190-pound receiver has been hauling in everything thrown his way and is getting some intense instruction on the art of blocking, which is just as critical in the Yellow Jackets’ run-oriented spread option attack. Just from an aesthetic point of view Hill sure does look good lined up on the opposite side of the field from Demaryius Thomas (6-3, 229, Jr.).

Georgia Tech freshman Stephen Hill. (GTAA)

Georgia Tech freshman Stephen Hill. (GTAA)

Just to refresh your memories, Hill was the No. 23-ranked receiver in the nation by Scout.com and caught 30 passes for 577 yards 8 touchdowns on a 3-8 Miller Grove team as a high school senior. He has blazing speed (4-4 40) and set the state record in the long jump (25 feet, 8.75 inches).

In any case, I found Hill to be very polite, very humble for a player of his potential and not very enlightening (which, again, is fine). Here’s our miniature Q&A:

Q: Have you found the transition to college to have been very difficult so far?

A: “To be honest with you, It really hasn’t been a big difference. Just coming out here and working hard is the biggest part of this, that’s all.”

Q: I understand it really came down between Tech and Georgia for you. That always gets the blood boiling on both sides of the rivalry. What clinched it for you?

A: “To be honest it was just the love of Georgia Tech. I really like Georgia Tech a lot and I really fell in love with the coaches. I just wanted to come here and try to make the team better. That’s all really.”

Q: I heard that something the Georgia coaches did or didn’t do really turned you off the Bulldogs. What was that exactly?

A: “I really don’t want to talk about that.”

Q: Fair enough. I’ve been reading reports where you’ve been making a lot of nice plays in camp and that you’re getting some pretty intense instruction from the coaching staff. Do you feel like you’re going to be in position to play right away?

A. “People are always thinking they’re going to be in a position to help. I’m just coming out here and trying my best. I always try to build on something. I always try to work harder to get better. I just try to do that every day.

Q: Have you found Coach Paul Johnson’s playbook difficult to master?

A: “It’s all right. We did a lot of blocking in high school. I do a lot of studying every day. You have to look over it and over it. Other than that everything is fine. I really like the offense.”

Q: How would you describe the recruiting style of the Georgia Tech staff?

A: “I really can’t describe it. I committed during the season of my high school year. But they come straight forward to you. They tell you, ‘We want you, we’d like to have you and it’s up to you.’ And I’m glad I stayed with my commitment.”

So there you go. I also talked to Tech freshman Jamea Thomas, who was thought to be coming in as an A-back but was quickly switched to defense and now plays safety. I’ll share more about him at a later date.

44 comments Add your comment

Burdell

August 12th, 2009
5:03 pm

Can’t wait to see him in action! Go Jackets!!

GTFan

August 12th, 2009
5:14 pm

Sounds like a smart kid. He knows the nature of the rivalry and didn’t want to feed into that. Also sounds like a guy who wants to let his performance on the field speak for him and not his words to the media. Good for him.

Big B CH 99

August 12th, 2009
5:27 pm

I’ve thought all along the he has a good chance of starting as a Freshman, b/c the only WR we have is BayBay, Hill’s probably gonna be better than any other option we have to line up opposite BayBay.

Starring Kam Fong as Chin Ho

August 12th, 2009
5:32 pm

He’ll be a big time player for GT. Would have been a big time player wherever he went. Glad he stayed in-state.

Facts

August 12th, 2009
5:36 pm

Way to go Towers. We all know you came from the UGaggers blog. He saw right through your BS. You were looking to put some sensationalism into your post, but couldn’t get it. That journalism degree sure paid off buddy.

Chip the Idiot

August 12th, 2009
6:42 pm

You tried to bait him about information that’s not of your concern and he spurned you. That’s why he wasn’t ‘enlightening’. LOL. Chip the Tool

Chip Towers

August 12th, 2009
7:04 pm

Ya got me. I was trying find something interesting to write. Sorry. . . . Seriously, he seems like a nice kid and is going to make an inviting target on offense.

carolina jacket

August 12th, 2009
7:19 pm

thanks for the post chip. even as a freshman SH sounds like he handles an interview well and knows when to talk and when not to. best of luck to him.

Tmac

August 12th, 2009
7:26 pm

Chip is just acting the way every other doggie would. Not surprising to me. Maybe since he hasnt been thrown in jail means hes not good enough for ugag

wombat

August 12th, 2009
8:05 pm

The fact that you are a professional journalist tells me that every word you put into print is intentional and is meant to make a point. Therefore, I can only assume you meant to insult Stephen Hill by saying he does not provide a “riveting” or “enlightening” interview. You’re pretty much calling the kid boring and dumb. Nice. You should frame this article with the title, “Another Example of When I Showed How Much of a Douchebag I am.”

Buck Strickland

August 12th, 2009
8:44 pm

Geez, what a defensive group. Miserable lot aren’t you.

Good luck to the kid. Be interesting to see what happens with this guy in the mix. Not trying to pick here but is there concern with Tech fans as to how last season ended? Did LSU expose a weakness in the Tech offense or was it just a bad day at the office?

mwp

August 12th, 2009
8:51 pm

Even as a bulldog its great to hear that the kid is doing great in camp. Chip, does every article you write half to have a jab at UGA. No wonder he wouldnt open up to you. Your to worried about jabbing UGA instead of writing about the kid. If your going to write something good about a Tech kid, make it be about him and Tech.

Buck Strickland

August 12th, 2009
8:56 pm

The biggest story in this kids recruitment was him choosing Tech over UGA. All Chip was doing was asking him about it. It’s his job. He didn’t speculate about what happened and didn’t give an opinion, and when the kid gave no comment, Chip moved on. Trying to make a mountain out of a mole hill here.

Paul's J

August 12th, 2009
8:59 pm

My fellow Tech fans, I think it’s about time we give Chip Towers and Doug Roberson a break. They do nice work, and you’re really naive if you honestly think that either of them is “biased.” We look as stupid as the rednecks from Athens when we post critical attacks–especially name-calling diatribes–against them. Chip and Doug, keep up the nice work.

Saint Simons

August 12th, 2009
9:43 pm

A Georgia Tech professor has been arrested and charged with 15 counts of sexual exploitation of children.

UPDATE: It was actually CPJ found in the tech locker room!

George P

August 12th, 2009
9:48 pm

It just sounds as if the kid has had some interview coaching. He’ll get better at it as he gets more comfortable in his role with the team.

Buck Strickland

August 12th, 2009
9:56 pm

Yes Paul. You wouldn’t want to look as “stupid as the rednecks from Athens” and post critical attacks. Good stuff.

T-Rav and the Eastside Grainger

August 12th, 2009
11:19 pm

Doug Roberson went to UGA. To say he’s not biased is being naive. If you dont think he’d rather be in Athens right now, you’re kidding yourself. However, I’ve had no problem with Doug’s reports thus far. This one by Chip is just stupid. If anyone is trying to make a mountain out of a mole hill, it was Chip asking the question. F’in dousche.

Tech Insider

August 12th, 2009
11:51 pm

Chip as a Tech fan, I can see you’re never going to please either teams fan base. UGA fans think you always write negatively about their beloved overrated team. While Tech fans won’t give you credit for writing an article about a current Tech played because you cover UGA.

No win situation obviously. Thanks for the article, the true fans appreciate it.

Chip Towers

August 13th, 2009
6:12 am

Tech Insider: That must mean I’m doing something right! . . .

Others: Apparently very few of you saw the Q&A I did with Izaan Cross earlier Wednesday. because it generated on three comments. But he is an example of someone who is a good interview. It has nothing to do for whom one plays:

http://blogs.ajc.com/recruiting/2009/08/12/freshman-dt-cross-on-track-to-see-the-field-for-tech/

Cuttysark

August 13th, 2009
6:18 am

Nice report Chip, not sure why everyone is bagging on you. Anyway, looking forward to many more outstanding recruits just like Mr. Hill to be arriving on the Flats in future classes under the leadership of Paul Johnson.

Go to isportsweb.com for more Georgia Tech Football articles. Go Jackets!

DT

August 13th, 2009
6:54 am

Can we all just get along? I love football period. I pull for Tech as well as Georgia! I think Stephen Hill made the right choice for him. I am just glad that he chose to stay in the state. Wouldn’t it be nice if all of the top talent in the state could stay here. ( Tech or Georgia)

When it is all said and done, I will pull for either.

T

August 13th, 2009
8:01 am

Chip … dont get your panties in a wad… stop with the slime and maybe you get a little more cooperation .. . I think the recruiting questions were off base and of no interest to anyone … but you !! Why dont you quit this blog and go back to Athens where you are happy. No hard feelings.

RAMBLE ON!!!

August 13th, 2009
8:37 am

I bet the UGAg coaches dangled the Escalade keys at him.

He has to much integrity and knew GT was the place to be.

BH

August 13th, 2009
8:43 am

Chip, release my comment you hack

MoDawg

August 13th, 2009
8:43 am

This is one of the most senseless comment threads I think I have ever read…

What a bunch of elitist snobs you Techsters come off as. Chip’s writing technique is about as neutral as it gets. Most of you saunter over to the UGA blogs enough, you’d think you would have noticed that, but you are more interested in name calling and fingering your noses at us “rednecks from Athens” who cheer for our “beloved overrated team”.

Grow a pair and realize the article is about a young man who is happy with his decision and wants to work hard for your team and stop criticizing Chip on why he was trying to explain why his interview may have lacked a little “umph”. You people are amazing!

RAMBLE ON!!!

August 13th, 2009
8:53 am

Just becasue we are better than you Modawg, doesn’t mean we’re “elitist snobs”.

BH

August 13th, 2009
8:57 am

Chip,

Since you aren’t releasing my comments, what exactly did you feel wasn’t “enligthening” or “riveting” about the interview? It seems like a normal interview so why did you feel that it was necessary to take so many back-handed comments at Stephen? Thanks.

Chip Towers

August 13th, 2009
9:36 am

BH: I don’t know what you’re talking about “releasing your comments.” I have not done anything with any of your comments. . . . Comments that are deemed unacceptable are automatically flagged by the system and go into a “moderation” cue for my approval or disapproval. But I saw nothing of the sort for any of your comments. So whatever comment to which you are referring never made it into the system. Not sure why. . . .

As for my use of “enlightening,” I was lightheartedly referring to Hill’s vague and uninformative answers. For comparison sake I’ll again refer you to my interview yesterday with GT’s Izaan Cross or one I put up this morning with UGA’s Arthur Lynch. Some people are more talkative than others. No big deal. It was not a criticism, more of an description of his personality type and a way to lead into a piece suggesting Hill is letting his play to the talking. . . .

But that’s way more about this than is necessary and the last I’ll say about it. Sorry if you didn’t like it, glad if you did. Blog on!

BH

August 13th, 2009
9:58 am

Thanks for your response. I’ll check out Izaan’s interview. It just seemed that Stephen’s interview was much different than any other interview that I read on here as far as the length of his answers go.

After reading your intro I was expecting a bunch of one word answers from Stephen and they weren’t. It just seemed a little overkill to point out three different times in three paragraphs that you didn’t think Stephen gave a good interview.

PB

August 13th, 2009
11:18 am

Chip,
I went back and read the Izaan interview and really enjoyed… especially funny was the part about going up against 150 lb linemen in high school. That’s likely the reason a lot of 4-5 star guys never see actual playing time. I’m glad you have thick skin…keep up the good work.

Wrek

August 13th, 2009
11:19 am

I’m a GT grad and I have no love for UGA but I agree with the sentiments that real GT fans out there need to lay off the hostilities towards Chip here. There isn’t a thing wrong with this article.

Chip, my humble observation and advice, you seem to be taking the bait from some of these comment trolls by acknowledging their posts. You can’t give any credence to these people, all they want is to get a response out of you and you shouldn’t give it to them. The insults should just go in one eye and out the other. Just ignore them and only respond to reasonable folks.

BobbyGodd

August 13th, 2009
11:34 am

Izaan played against a lot of Georgia Mountain schools (Fannin, Gilmer and Pickens County) that simply do not have the athletes and also usually lack the speed of top notch programs. Indeed these teams often will only have a limited number of participants weighing 250 pounds or better and these few usually play both ways.

Of course…Gilmer County did produce one of Tech’s all time greats in the “Fridge” remover known as John Davis. But I believe he is the only major D-1 prospect ever from that county school system.

Pickens and Fannin Counties have never produced a top notch D-1 player at least in the 40+ years I have kept up with Georgia high school football. But they play some mean bluegrass.

Matt Winkeljohn

August 13th, 2009
12:54 pm

Where is the vitriol more pronounced, on message boards where Tech and UGA are pitted against one another (more often by readers than authors), or in health care town hall meetings?
The kid chose between Tech and Ga. and some of you expect the AJC’s recruiting writer not to ask about that when he interviews the kid?
Old school, new-age, internet, print . . . whether it’s a story or a blog, that’s no-brainer stuff.

southy706

August 13th, 2009
5:42 pm

Chip im proud of you buddy keep up the good work i have no problem whatsoever with anything you write im just glad to be able to read something concerning Georgia Football. BTW i believe i know what made stephen hill angry at Georgia Coaches and that was not offering him until very late after he committed to the yellow skeeters. Oh yeah one more thing I am a dawg fan and i say this whole heartedly “i have never met or saw a tech fan with any integrity whatsoever.” You tech fans are the most horrible stuck up ppl on the face of the earth becuz you always think that you are so much smarter than dawg fans, I really wish Georgia could be taken out of Tech’s name they give it a bad name…Eat em up Georgia cuz its great to be a DAWG.

sunnyside

August 13th, 2009
5:54 pm

The future looks goog with Steven sometime catch the ball Hill and Quentin Sims,Mckayhan

Paddy

August 13th, 2009
6:39 pm

Facts… talk about yellow journalism. Your jaded opinion is a sign of lack of educational training and objectivity.
Get out of the tunnel and into the real word. You sound like you are 18 yrs old.

Good Job Chip!

August 13th, 2009
7:18 pm

Good journalism! I especially like the “digging” of what the UGA coaches may have done to help him make a decision for GT. I think questions along those lines are most interesting allowing the average fan to better understand the thought process of atheletes. Keep digging!

John Coctosten

August 13th, 2009
7:30 pm

Random comment from a Tech fan: Chip is a UGA homer. OK…so what? I am a Tech homer, and I still think/hope I could be objective when it is called for.

I have ZERO problem with anything he wrote here, and think he did, in fact, an excellent job. Homey does a good job being neutral when it is appropriate, in my humble opinion, as he did here. He asked a very relevant question regarding recruiting, and respectfully moved on when Hill (wisely) declined to comment. What is the big deal here??????

GT9

August 13th, 2009
7:51 pm

Stephen Hill will make big plays; breaking the hearts of many a defensive back’s and coordinator’s mothers and wives.

Thanks for the info, Chip.

GT Rich

August 13th, 2009
10:08 pm

Chip, no problem with your questions. I am glad that Stephen avoided your dig for dirt on the UGA recruiting effort. Either good coaching or a natural instinct to avoid drama. Good for him either way. Sounds like Stephen is simply soft spoken, especially compared with Izaan who comes across as a “talker”. In any case, for offense I prefer the Jerry Rice type over a mouthy Terrell Owens any day. Having been to several practices this past week, Hill and Q. Simms definitely seem to have some big play potential. Simms a better blocker, Hill better hands. I’ll be stunned if they both aren’t on the 2-deep roster by Sep 5.

German Jacket

August 14th, 2009
4:45 am

Chip,

The issue isn’t with the questions you asked; it’s the – count them, three – snarky bush-league comments about young Mr Hill. SH actually handled the recruiting questions very maturely. If his answers didn’t give you enough material to write from, get opinions of SH from more senior teamates, or qualified observers, to flesh out your article. Kinda low-brow to take little digs at the young man.

Newnan Jacket

August 14th, 2009
9:57 am

I agree with German Jacket, the problem with the article is not that he asked Stephen about his recruitment (obviously that was an interesting story and as a journalist he’d be doing a disservice not to ask that), but the fact that Chip felt it necessary to put the kid down multiple times because he didn’t give Chip what he was trying to get out of the interview. It’s just unprofessional. Put the interview out there and let people draw their own conclusions about Stephen’s responses. I just think the comments like “Apparently he was not equally excited to talk to me”, “He’s not there because of his riveting interviews”, and stating that Stephen was “not very enlightening” were unwarranted, shouldn’t have been included, and made Chip seem petty and, again, unprofessional.

lil Bill

August 18th, 2009
8:04 pm

Stephen (Snake) Hill is going to remind people of Calvin Johnson as soon as the season gets underway! With the vertical he has, alot of DBs are going to wish they hadnt lined up against him.

Get ‘em SNAKE!