Big-Time Playmaker

K.J. Hill

North Little Rock junior wide receiver K.J. Hill got his long-awaited offer from Arkansas on Saturday and then found his mailbox full on Monday of letters from a plethora of schools.

It looks like North Little Rock junior wide receiver K.J. Hill (6-1, 180) and his family are going to need a bigger mailbox.

Just a couple of days after landing an football scholarship offer from Arkansas – who once sent 16 letters in a single day to him – the two-sport star was inundated with mail on Monday from Notre Dame (seven letters), Indiana, Auburn and Nebraska.

It's heady stuff for a young man who now has grid offers from Arkansas and Auburn and obviously a lot of interest from other programs.

"I am just trying to stay humble about things and know that my hard work is finally paying off," Hill said. "But I know it is very important to get working hard to keep their interest now that I do have it."

Hill was the Arkansas Democrat's Co-Sophomore of the Year last season while at Bryant, where he caught 48 passes for 485 yards and also ran the ball 27 times for another 233 yards.

He got off to a big start in his Charging Wildcats' debut with 5 catches for 71 yards and two scores and a 99-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.

It was part of a 55-13 rout of Lake Hamilton in which his teammate and Razorback tailback commit Juan Day rushed for 149 yards on 12 carries and happened with Arkansas wide receivers coach Michael Smith looking on.

That certainly impressed North Little Rock head coach Brad Bolding, who compared him for former Arkansas star Joe Adams.

"He is the best that I have seen at catching the ball and getting up field right away," Bolding said. "It's as if his feet are moving in the air and he just takes off as soon as he hits the ground.

"I really do believe he is a player just like Joe Adams in that he is so elusive and is such a playmaker," Bolding added. "He's just an outstanding football player and we are love having him around."

His weekend got even better when he was surprised by an offer from Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema in Little Rock on Saturday.

Hill was standing on the sideline watching the Razorbacks warm up before it's 31-21 win over Samford at War Memorial Stadium when the new Razorback coach came over.

"He said that he needed some big-time playmakers like me to take the program to where he wants to go," Hill said. "He said we saw what you did Friday night and that is why he was going to offer me a scholarship to Arkansas and he wanted me to be a Razorback.

"Honestly, I was so stunned that I was kind of speechless," Hill added. "It was just very unique. Then he leaned in and gave me a hug. It was just very cool.

"Getting an offer from Arkansas is a dream come true," Hill continued. "That's the team that I have grown up rooting for and I am very excited about it."

That's not to say he is going to make an immediate commit to the Razorbacks.

"I want to wait and see who all offers me and then just consider everything," Hill said. "But, Arkansas is at the top. That's for sure."

He is going to get plenty of encouragement from Day to join him as a Razorback commit.

"He was messing with me after I got the offer and saying ‘Woo Pig Sooie' and telling me that I just needed to get it over with and go ahead and commit to Arkansas."

Hill would likely have gotten an offer this summer when he came to Arkansas' camp, but he was hurt and couldn't go full speed.

"People may disagree with me, but think Arkansas did it the right way," Bolding said. "He was about 60 percent healthy when he went up there this summer. Those scholarships are precious things and not to be given out lightly. They told him they wanted to see him healthy, they came to see him right away and offered him right away."

Hill has been to the first two Arkansas' games this season, will miss this weekend's early game with Southern Miss, but be back in Fayetteville on Sept. 28 when the Razorbacks host Texas A&M.

"I have a great relationship with all the Arkansas coaches, especially with Coach Smith, who would be my position coach," Hill said. "I think Arkansas has a great, great coaching staff."

Hill also plans to take visits to see at least one Auburn game and Indiana has also invited him up to a game.

North Little Rock's schedule will take a step up in competition this week when the Charging Wildcats host tradition-rich South Panola from Batesville, Miss.

"We have a few mistakes that we need to get cleaned up for this week because this is a very good team that we are playing," Hill said.

The Tigers are already 3-0 this season with wins over Memphis White Station (42-27) and Mississippi teams West Point (55-33) and Meridian (34-14).

North Little Rock is ranked either number one or two in Arkansas depending on the poll.

"Nothing less than winning the state title is going to satisfy us this year," Hill said. "With Juan and me and all the guys we have on offense and defense, there's a great chance it can happen."





K.J. Hill





K.J. Hill

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