Arkansas Continues All-Out Effort For Hill

K.J. Hill

Arkansas made North Little Rock receiver K.J. Hill well aware of how much a priority he was by sending all of its five offfensive coaches to his off-campus spring scrimmage and he's now in Fayetteville working in camp with them this week.

North Little Rock receiver K.J. Hill (6-1, 190) has made tons of road trips so far with his buddy Will Gragg - including Sunday's drive up to Fayetteville with the current Dumas tight end behind the wheel.

He's not ready to pronounce Gragg a great driver, but there's very little doubt Arkansas' coaches would love for them to make plenty of rides together around Fayetteville beginning in 2015.

That's the year both would be reporting to the Razorbacks, if the Arkansas staff can convince the state's best pass-catching duo to join Razorback 2015 quarterback pledge Ty Storey of Charleston to form a major offensive talent infusion.

The Arkansas staff made its intention known with Hill – the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's reigning Player of the Year – by having all five of its offensive coaches on hand for his team's scrimmage at War Memorial Stadium.

"That was surprising," Hill said. "I came out of the tunnel and saw all of them. I thought it was a joke or something. I just thought Coach Lunney and Coach Smith were going to come up, but by having all five it showed how much of a priority that I am to them."

All of the coaches could attend the scrimmage because it was held off campus with North Little Rock's field being renovated and not available this spring or fall.

"It did help to know that they want me to come here that much to do that," Hill added.

He caught 83 passes for 1,210 yards and 20 touchdowns while piling up 2,071 all-purpose yards and finding the end zone 26 times as a junior.

Hill now has 18 offers to his credit and he and Gragg are both participating in Arkansas' camp the first part of this week.

"It's just to build a relationship with the coaches again and just to ask questions about things that I still have questions about," Hill said. "Just have fun and come out here and do the drills and be with the coaches.

"Just about the offense, again what they are going to do this year and the development of the team and changes," Hill added.

It will also give the pair a chance to catch passes from Storey, who turn down offers from Alabama, Auburn and Oklahoma State among others to commit about a year ago to Arkansas.

"We have done thrown a couple of times at the camps and stuff, but I just want to get some balls from him and get a feel more on how he is on the field," Hill said. "I know him as a person, just on the field."

The camp also helps both keep in shape for The Opening, Nike's prestigous camp featuring the top 160 prospects in the country. It is held July 5-10 in Beaverton, Ore., at the company's headquarters.

"I have been traning for that since last year," Hill said. "It was just a big accomplishment in my life. I am kind of ready to go. (North Little Rock) Coach (Brad) Bolding is killing me with the fitness training and in the pool and stuff every day. I am just going up there to meet all the top players, concentrate and compete against them."

Hill, also an outstanding basketball player, is playing with Team Penny's AAU hoops squad this summer on the EYBL circuit.

The team, which also features North Little Rock hoops teammate and Florida commit KeVaughn Allen - is coached by former Memphis star Anfernee "Penny" Hardaway and former Arkansas star Todd Day and has qualified for the Peach Jam July 16-20 in North Augusta, S.C.

"AAU season has been going well, playing with Team Penny with KeVaughn," Hill said. "It's just getting experience playing against the top in the country again in the EYBL. Experiencing Penny Hardaway and his life is influencing me to make it like he has been doing." Hill loves basketball as well as football and continues to wrestle some with the decision to play both in college.

I can't leave the game," Hill said. "It's hard to leave the game that you have been playing all your life. I don't know right now about the basketball part in college. It is kind of hard, but I have been doing it all my life so I would probably get used to it."

After he gets back from The Opening and finishes up his AAU basketball season, Hill will probably start to narrow his list.

"Probably by the end of the summer," Hill said.

Unlike Gragg – who has his five official visits set – Hill has not set up any official visits as of this time.

"No, not yet," Hill said. "I am still wriring them down and then going to break them down to the colleges I am going to visit," Hill said.

North Little Rock returns several key players from last season and as added in a few.

"We expect a lot," Hill said. "We have high expectations always. We have D.J. Brown now and we have our quarterback coming back. We also have Fabian Lewis coming. He was injured last year. We have a lot of play-makers and we just have to go through the year and try to win a state championship."





K.J. Hill

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