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.).
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.