Stephen Hill is toast of New York

Stephen Hill is the toast of New York after becoming the first NFL rookie to catch two touchdowns in his debut since 2005.

An Atlanta product, Cam Newton, was the NFL's best rookie in 2011. Who will be tops in 2012?

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The former Georgia Tech and Miller Grove High School star finished with five catches for 89 yards and two touchdowns for the New York Jets against Buffalo on Sunday.

Hill also apparently caught a bug, with Deadspin poking a little fun with this headline — “Superlative Jets Rookie Stephen Hill Dominated Yesterday’s Game While Periodically Puking On The Sidelines”

Former Miller Grove coach Jasper Jewell watched it on TV.

“I’m grinning from ear to ear. I couldn’t be more proud.

“He always had the physical skills, but I’ve never coached any athlete that worked harder to be success. He told me when he got drafted that ‘I know I’m going to make it in the NFL.’ I think he’s going to have a good career in New York.’

As far as football recruiting, Hill was vastly underrated coming out of high school, despite being 6-foot-4 and one of the state’s top overall athletes.

Stephen Hill had an electrifying NFL debut (AP)

Stephen Hill had an electrifying NFL debut (AP)

In basketball, Hill was a key member of Miller Grove’s state championship team and had scholarship offers in that sport. In track, Hill broke the state record in the long jump. In football, Hill was a one-man wrecking crew with a 95-yard kickoff return against eventual state champion Tucker.

Hill was largely ignored until late in the recruiting process. He committed early to Central Florida, then switched to Georgia Tech. He was approached with a last-minute offer from UGA the week before signing day, but decided to stick with the Yellow Jackets.

“A lot of teams down here in the South didn’t bite on him, and I was really shocked he didn’t have more offers,” Jewell said. “I guess the rankings don’t matter now. It’s all water under the bridge.”

Hill bumped up in the final national rankings in 2009 for wide receivers – No. 23 by Scout, No. 92 by ESPN and No. 99 by Rivals.

Fast forward to 2012 and Jets coach Rex Ryan was bragging on Hill to New York reporters on Monday:

“This guy is ahead of where most rookie receivers are,” Ryan said.

Ryan recalled a draft-day moment, when someone in the war room asked WRs coach Sanjay Lal, “If we draft this player, will he be ready for Buffalo?” Lal promised Hill would be ready.

After Buffalo, Lal remembered that moment and told GM Mike Tannenbaum: “I told you he’d be ready for Buffalo.”

What are your thoughts? Please post below.

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92 comments Add your comment

go Jackets

September 10th, 2012
6:20 pm

going to give Calvin Johnson a run for his money, I am so excited for him, damn good job!

poopdawg

September 10th, 2012
6:21 pm

Congratulations Mr. Hill. Good luck in NYC.

Hard Dawg

September 10th, 2012
6:23 pm

Trust me, if Georgia would’ve wanted Stephen Hill, we would’ve gotten him. We’ve never lost a recruiting battle vs. the nerds and never will

Dawg Days

September 10th, 2012
6:33 pm

Congratulations Mr Hill,

This is further proof that these services rank recruits on their offer sheet

go Jackets

September 10th, 2012
6:37 pm

Jonathan Dwyer led the Steelers in rushing…Calvin Johnson and Demaryius Thomas also scored TD’s

Dekalb Fan

September 10th, 2012
6:44 pm

No surprise here. I have always stated in all blogs since Hill was in High School that he was a special talent and would be very successful. What we saw yesterday was just the beginning.

lxUn1c0

September 10th, 2012
6:47 pm

So much for the idea that Georgia Tech’s WRs can’t make it to the NFL. At this point, with 4 WRs (Calvin Johnson, Demaryius Thomas, Kevin Cone, Stephen Hill) going to the pros in the last 5 years, does anybody really doubt our ability to develop talent at the position?

bucket

September 10th, 2012
6:49 pm

Hill is going to be a great player in my opinion. Tech fans have a lot to be proud of in Johnson, Thomas, and Hill. Off the top of my head I can’t think of a better trio of receivers in the NFL right now from the same school.

Bananajacket

September 10th, 2012
6:59 pm

Oh, there must be an explanation because players (especially wide receivers) can’t possibly make it in the pros from GT. Right?

C-Smoov

September 10th, 2012
7:56 pm

GOOD GAME FAM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We are all proud of you in Macon and everyone wishes you well!!!!!!! Don’t forget my autographed cleats dude!!!!!!!!!!!

Jacket Man

September 10th, 2012
7:59 pm

My guess is that once the pistol formation becomes a bigger part of the offensive set, and Vad Lee gets more reps, a few more passes will start to be used in the offense, and once again, we’ll see the Jacket Wide Receivers become focal points of the offense.

Hopefully, the success of having GA Tech Wide Receivers being taken high in the NFL Draft, and even making it on NFL rosters when they aren’t because they were willing to do more than just catch passes, will give recruits a good reason to think seriously about signing with them in February. How many College teams are putting Wide Receivers this high in the draft and getting them into the League this consistently right now? Just look at the highlights from Sunday’s games and you’ll see Demaryius Thomas and Stephen Hill all over TV…how many other Wide Receivers have you seen?

ignition

September 10th, 2012
8:11 pm

I hope to see the Pistol & other shotgun formations in which GT can pass from.. Being a more balanced attack will be necessary for GT to go to the next level. Much success to Hill, Thomas, & Johnson, hope to see Greene, Moore, Walden, or whoever the next great receiver will be..

Michael Veli a.k.a Jim Donnan's financial advisor

September 10th, 2012
8:31 pm

Nice! I think we need a Jonathen Dwyer type blend of size and speed at B back, the offense seems to work better with that threat in thhe middle.

Michael Veli a.k.a Jim Donnan's financial advisor

September 10th, 2012
8:33 pm

My apologies, i meant ‘the’ instead of thhe.

IL Jacket

September 10th, 2012
8:39 pm

Congratulations Stephen Hill on your hard earned success.

Paul in NH

September 10th, 2012
8:43 pm

Hard Dawg

September 10th, 2012
4:23 pm
Trust me, if Georgia would’ve wanted Stephen Hill, we would’ve gotten him. We’ve never lost a recruiting battle vs. the nerds and never will
——-
Richt didn’t want Calvin Johnson?
http://www.sportsjunkiecenter.com/howcalvinjohnsonbecam.htm

GTJeff

September 10th, 2012
9:21 pm

Yeah LardDawg, He was just making up shiot about being recruited by the DWAGS. Typical Inbred drivel.

davidinloganville

September 10th, 2012
9:40 pm

Is this the same guy that was getting KILLED on this blog when he entered the draft?

Gr8 2B aFuzzyB

September 10th, 2012
10:16 pm

I’m rooting for Hill. I’m one that was skeptical. He might still have his struggles – I heard Marv Albert say that he had taken some heat for a number of dropped balls in preseason. Give him credit for getting off to a great start. The confidence should help.

Gr8 2B aFuzzyB

September 10th, 2012
10:22 pm

Great find Paul! Hard Dawg is too busy doing the hard pounding to respond.

Mountain Dawg

September 10th, 2012
10:49 pm

Buzz2011

September 10th, 2012
10:57 pm

No one should be surprised! The best receivers in the NFL are out of Georgia Tech.
Damarius Thomas, Hill and a guy named Calvin Johnson. Go Jackets and look for the next great receiver in development from The Flats..

GTKurt80

September 10th, 2012
11:16 pm

One of my buddies is a high school track coach and he said Hill was the best athlete he’d seen. It took a while for him to develop, but congrats to him!!! I was always pulling for him. Would have been nice to see him stay for his Senior year, but a man has to do what a man has to do.
Hope the new guys do the same, but at Tech!!

slydog

September 10th, 2012
11:20 pm

it appears that the best thing for a WR with prototypical size and speed at GT is to either leave or never attend the place. Not one jacket fan can seriously say that CPJ’s offense prepared Bey Bey or Hill for the NFL. BTW, Buzz2011, the best receivers in the NFL, which does include a Chan Gailey produced Calvin Johnson, includes Julio Jones and AJ Green, NOT Bey Bey Thomas or Hill. Get your facts straight. Both Bey Bey and Hill left early not because they were men playing against boys and they maxed out their abilities on the college level, but because their unique abilities were not maxed out. Don’t think so? Just go back and re-examine their comments after they left school.

slydog

September 10th, 2012
11:22 pm

And yes, I straight hated…hahahahha

GT Alum

September 10th, 2012
11:34 pm

Slydog, it’s ok that you’re a hater. From now until the time Calvin, Demaryius, and Stephen retire from the NFL, they will always say their school is “Georgia Tech” on prime time and “Georgia Tech” will always be listed on their bio. We can live with the hate, can you live knowing GT produces more elite receivers than UGA? Doesn’t UGA recruit top 10 WRs every year? What happens to them in Athens?

Receiver U Oh Yeah!

September 11th, 2012
12:00 am

Jealous much hard dwag? Great to see Tech receivers having so much success in the NFL. Bay Bay had a great game Sunday night as well (a nice TD run after catching a Manning pass). Funny that Calvin was the only former Tech receiver not to score a TD on Sun (not to take anything away from the greatest receiver ever but just emphasize how great the other guys are doing)

Receiver U Oh Yeah!

September 11th, 2012
12:03 am

Slydog CPJ’s offence taught these guys how to be physical at the line don’t be jealous like hard dawg

BravesFan79

September 11th, 2012
12:42 am

One thing about coming out of GT’s offense, these guys will know how to block before they get to the NFL! And being im from Atlanta, my favorite ACC team is GT, and favorite SEC team is UGA. I don’t get all the hate bt the 2 schools. Some of you brag about what “bowl” your team has been 2, but in reality, any game that’s not for the National Championship is a meaningless exhibition.
Guess this is why im a bigger Falcons fan than anything. The NFL.. where EVERY game counts!

Mountain Dawg

September 11th, 2012
2:48 am

Please tell me why this is recruiting news.

davidinloganville

September 11th, 2012
6:48 am

The funniest thing I saw about Hill was when Mark Sanchez was asked about the number of dropped passes after a preseason game he said that “Hill will only get better because he played at Georgia tech and had more passes thrown to him in this game than in his career in college”…

JB

September 11th, 2012
7:22 am

Well, after playing for Johnson and Tech, at least he’s rested and ready for the NFL. I think he had 38 career catch’s at Tech.

JB

September 11th, 2012
7:24 am

Who has Tech got now at WR. ? It’s a hot bed for the position I know.

A person SMART enough to know.....

September 11th, 2012
7:26 am

Biggest story on the sports page “BOYD out at Milton for CHEATING” and the comments are off. What a Joke. Everybody has been saying for sometime the guy was cheating but it took this long to get him fired. There are not that many Black folks in the Milton school district much less 5* basketball players.

Buddy Landel

September 11th, 2012
7:30 am

lxUn1c0

September 10th, 2012
6:47 pm
So much for the idea that Georgia Tech’s WRs can’t make it to the NFL. At this point, with 4 WRs (Calvin Johnson, Demaryius Thomas, Kevin Cone, Stephen Hill) going to the pros in the last 5 years, does anybody really doubt our ability to develop talent at the position?

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++=
Ditto. All the negative recruiting by other schools regarding out ability to get a WR in “the league” just went out the window. GT has twice as many WR in the NFL as the Dwags.

Teddy Roosevelt

September 11th, 2012
8:29 am

Looks like he was rewady for the NFL right from the get go. Congratulations Mr. Hill!

dawgfan

September 11th, 2012
9:00 am

Did Stephen Hill even catch 2 TDs in an entire season at Tech? What a complete waste of talent. Paul Johnson is completely clueless. Its unbelievable.

GFY

September 11th, 2012
9:12 am

And to think what he might have been in college if he had a coach that could have figured out how to use his talent rather than “running his scheme”. Gailey sure new how to bring in the talent……Johnson?? Well the next few years will look like Navy-Tech

Stank Wren

September 11th, 2012
9:16 am

“Biggest story on the sports page “BOYD out at Milton for CHEATING” and the comments are off. What a Joke. Everybody has been saying for sometime the guy was cheating but it took this long to get him fired.”

Yep, you would have to have been blind to not see what was going on there. Everyone has known it for years, not sure what took so long. It’s weak to have the comments turned off

Flo - Ri - Duh

September 11th, 2012
9:36 am

Don’t understand your LACK of knowledge concerning the recruitment of Stephen Hill. Hill COMMITTED to UGA and SIGNED with UGA but changed his mind before school started and told Mark Richt he wanted to go to Tech. Richt agreed to sign a waver letting Hill out of his “contract” with UGA so he could go to Tech. This really happened. I have followed Hill’s recruitment from the very beginning. This is Richt’s philosophy – if you don’t want to be at UGA he will let you go with no strings attached. It is true that Hill was not highly recruited until late in the process. So you Techies should thank Richt because he could have held Hill to his signed commitment.

Buddy Landel

September 11th, 2012
9:40 am

Hill never SIGNED with UGA. You aren’t allowed to sign until National Signing Day. UGA tried to steal him at the end, but he kept his word to CPJ.

JacketFan

September 11th, 2012
9:41 am

@Hard Dawg LOL, I think you have it backwards kiddo

Who Cares???

September 11th, 2012
9:59 am

How many times did Stephen Hill help Tech beat UGA?….that’s what I thought….Calvin Johnson? Oh yeah….BayBay? Dang, once…Jeez, put up a billboard, NERDS!!!!!

JB

September 11th, 2012
10:06 am

Tech WR’s always showed up big in all their bowl wins the last 5 or 6 years years………………………………………My bad. Never mind.

dawgfan

September 11th, 2012
10:08 am

All I know is that Tech went 14-12 during Hill’s last two years. He has game changing ability but they were 0-8 against UGA, Miami, VT and the bowl game his last two years. The guy is obviously a great talent but was a complete non-factor while at Georiga Tech. So much for all that crap about “doing more with less” that we hear out of Tech fans. It looks like its the other way around to me. Yep, that Paul Johnson is a genius for sure.

Nobody is jealous of Stephen Hill Techies. We wish him the best. I root for a lot of Tech players when they go to the NFL. I like Johnson, Nesbitt and now Hill. We just feel sorry for him that his college career was such a forgettable waste. That’s all.

Teddy Roosevelt

September 11th, 2012
10:19 am

^I feel sorry for you and your wasted time in college(maybe??)

Holy Guacamole

September 11th, 2012
10:20 am

Here’s the real thing. If Hill had gone to a school where they actually threw the ball to him maybe 8-10 times a game, he would be making a lot more money in the NFL. He is a good receiver and had he chosen differently, he would have gotten a higher draft ranking with everything that comes with it. I cannot for the life of me figure out why a kid who has his skills would go to a school that doesn’t throw the ball unless they are in trouble or trying to trick the opposing defense.

I am not trying to knock Tech. I am just quizzical on his choice.

Dirtybirdsin'12

September 11th, 2012
10:28 am

Stephen Hill had a serious problem with dropping passes at tech. If he could have held onto the ball he could’ve been an all American. I would put the number of dropped passes that would have gone for touchdowns somewhere around 10 for hill’s last two seasons. That’s why we were surprised when he chose to leave early. I love how the UGA trolls get such a kick out of coming on the tech message boards to talk bad about Paul Johnson, but he can’t execute for his players. I don’t like the decision to stick with Washington over lee at qb, and he probably needs to step up the recruiting efforts a little, but he’s not going anywhere. The problems we have are minimal and will be corrected. So Georgia fans, get your obno

Buddy Landel

September 11th, 2012
10:29 am

Guacamole- Pro scouts can see past the number of catches you have in college. They have game film and that thing they call the scouting combine. They also see what kind of blocker you are on film. That shows effort and “want-to”. This was a factor in his drafting. On the down-side, Hill has known to have the dropsies in the past. I recall the Clemson game in particular last year when he had beaten everyone on a post and the ball went through his hands.

Holy Guacamole

September 11th, 2012
10:38 am

Buddy – the pro scouts didn’t have much to look at because his body of work was minimal due to the offense that Tech runs versus others. All I am saying is that I think that his choice cost him money. Again, I said that I was not knocking Tech, just curious about his choice for college.