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  1. #1
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    Tye Hill interview (Would love to play for St. Louis)

    Q&A with Clemson CB Tye Hill

    by Bobby La Gesse
    April 13, 2006

    Clemson CB Tye Hill does not expect too much out of the NFL. He only wants to be the next Deion Sanders.

    Hill, who grew up idolizing Sanders, has the same kind of rare speed Sanders possessed. Hill ran a 4.31 40-yard dash at the Combine in February, the fastest time of all cornerbacks. Scouts love Hillís speed, which allowed him to stay stride-for-stride in coverage with almost any college receiver.

    Unlike Sanders, Hill entered college as a running back and also ran track. He spent his redshirt season and his freshman year on offense, before switching to cornerback prior to his sophomore year.

    Like Sanders, Hill may have played his way into being a first-round draft pick. The 5-9, 185-pounder was a three-year starter for Clemson but started coming into his own as a junior in í04, when he started all 11 games and deflected 21 passes.

    In his senior year, Hill picked up where he left off the previous fall. He earned 2005 PFW honorable mention All-America honors, as he routinely covered the opponentís top receiver and had three interceptions and seven pass deflections.

    PFW draft analyst Nolan Nawrocki projects the 23-year-old to be a late first-round or second-round selection because of his speed and toughness against the run.

    Hill recently talked with PFW about Howardís rock, Clemson track and hot sauce.

    PFW: Teams are known for asking some strange questions at the NFLís Scouting Combine. What was the weirdest question you were asked?

    Hill: I was asked what is my drug of choice. First of all, it shocked me because I donít do drugs. If I had a drug, it would be hot sauce.

    PFW: When you sign an NFL contract, whatís the first thing youíll buy?

    Hill: A life. Just kidding. I donít know. I havenít even thought about it yet. I know Iíll probably end up helping my parents out.

    PFW: What do you want out of an NFL career?

    Hill: I want to make (the) All-Rookie (team). My second year, I want to be in contention for a Pro Bowl. I want to have a Pro Bowl-caliber, Hall of Fame-caliber career and I want to leave a mark on the game like Deion Sanders left a mark on the game. He revolutionized the position. I idolized him. When you talk about shutdown corners, he is the first name that comes to mind.

    PFW: If you werenít heading to the NFL, what job would you have?

    Hill: Iíd probably be working with something relating to my degree (human resources).

    PFW: What college class helped prepare you the most for the NFL?

    Hill: My management class. It taught me how to manage my money and be an accountant.

    PFW: When did you learn the NFL was a possibility for you?

    Hill: During my junior year, when I had people calling me, especially agents. They called me, asking if I was going to leave (college).

    PFW: What is your biggest NFL fear?

    Hill: I donít have any fears coming in. My biggest fear? You know, Iíd never thought about it. I have such high expectations for myself that I never looked at it as having any disappointments.

    PFW: What was your favorite college moment?

    Hill: Beating (third-ranked) Florida State my sophomore year (26-10), and I was also ACC Defensive Back of the Week. That was one of my best games (Hill had an interception, forced a fumble and had one deflected pass).

    PFW: What NFL team do you believe is a good fit for you?

    Hill: I think I would be a good fit for the St. Louis Rams or the Detroit Lions. I know St. Louis mixes it up a little bit. They do man coverage and then they mix it up. They do stuff I am used to doing and Iím effective at. Detroit runs similar stuff, and they have veteran cornerbacks, especially Drť Bly. I could look up to him.


    PFW: What NFL coach would you want to play for?

    Hill: I would play for any coach. A playerís coach would be great, a guy that has played the game and can relate to the players. I donít have a set coach that I would want to play for.

    PFW: Scouts says you have the speed to stay with receivers and the toughness to play the run, but they also question your passion for the game. What is your response to them?

    Hill: I canít believe somebody would even say that. I donít even know where that came from. I donít think I can lack a passion for this game if I have come this far. I saw that in a book and thought someone made it up. That is inaccurate. I love this game more than anything. This game has been my girlfriend for a long time.

    PFW: What did you enjoy more at Clemson, football or track?

    Hill: Playing football. I have a lot of great memories. We beat a lot of great teams, and I played in some memorable games. Theyíd be on ESPN Classic because they all came down to the wire.

    PFW: How does participating in track help you on the football field?

    Hill: Stamina. I can play the whole game and not get winded. I can run the whole game. I can be just as fresh on play one as I am on play 59 or 60. Track has helped me tremendously, especially with my speed. I feel like it helped me learn how to get to that next gear when I have to go and catch receivers.

    PFW: I imagine it would also help you improve your 40-yard dash time?

    Hill: Most definitely. That also is an added plus.

    PFW: Did playing running back help you at all as a cornerback?

    Hill: That didnít help me at all. Theyíre two different positions. You just have to be an athlete to play both. I loved playing running back because it gave me a chance to put my name out there on offense. Defense is completely different.

    PFW: In the spring, how would you split your time between track and football?

    Hill: As I became a veteran, I did more track. I already knew what was going on (with football) and Coach (Tommy) Bowden was comfortable with me going. During the week, I would go to track practice on Mondays and Wednesdays and I would run in meets on Saturday. I would go to football practice on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I didnít have to scrimmage on the (football) scrimmages on Saturday.

    PFW: What is it about Clemsonís Memorial Stadium that really makes it live up to its nickname, ďDeath ValleyĒ?

    Hill: First of all, itís the volume of the crowd. It is loud. We had some of the best fans you will find around college football. Running down ďThe HillĒ from Howardís Rock, itís an intimidating factor. Just running down (to the field) is electric.

    PFW: So you believe in the superstition that Howardís Rock holds magical powers (Clemson players touch the rock before taking the field for every home game)?

    Hill: Yeah, I guess so, because we won a lot of close games.

    PFW: So you are superstitious then?

    Hill: I am very big on superstitions. I try to keep the same routine and never change it (on game day). I go from right to left on everything. I get somebody to put in my contacts before the game. It is kind of weird, the way I do things.

    PFW: When you played Florida State, what did you care about more, playing Deion Sandersí old school or helping your coach get family bragging rights over his dad (Florida State coach Bobby Bowden)?

    Hill: For me, itís playing against a legendary coach and a team I idolized as a kid. So I go through my own little thing against Florida State. That Bowden thing, I never really got into. I teased Coach Bowden about it. Iím 2-2 against Florida State, so I guess we are even.

    PFW: I know you idolized Deion, but who else were you a big fan of at Florida State?

    Hill: I was a Warrick Dunn fan and a Charlie Ward fan and a Peter Warrick fan. There are a lot of people I like at Florida State.

    RamsFan16

  2. #2
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    Re: Tye Hill interview (Would love to play for St. Louis)

    I like this guy a lot. Depending on what is on the board, i could live with him just fine at #11 and would be thrilled if we traded back a few picks and took him anyway. Pure cover corners are very very rare and what he lacks in size, he apparantly makes up in cover skills.

    I dont recall seeing neon deon make a single tackle, but he sure was an impact player as a cover corner.

    ramming speed to all

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  3. #3
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    Re: Tye Hill interview (Would love to play for St. Louis)

    I'm sure he would love to play for the team that picks him the highest.

  4. #4
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    Re: Tye Hill interview (Would love to play for St. Louis)

    I'm really starting to like this kid. He plays a lot tougher than his size. He really wants to be good. The arrogance that Jimmy Williams exudes doesnt seem to exist in this kid. He knows he's good, but he wants to get better. I love it.
    The Roman and The Prince. Playmakers until the end.


  5. #5
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    Re: Tye Hill interview (Would love to play for St. Louis)

    this guy is great!! i would like the fact if he played on the Rams since hes so fast, but it would also be great if he was a little taller

  6. #6
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    Re: Tye Hill interview (Would love to play for St. Louis)

    Quote Originally Posted by RamJackson39
    I'm really starting to like this kid. He plays a lot tougher than his size. He really wants to be good. The arrogance that Jimmy Williams exudes doesnt seem to exist in this kid. He knows he's good, but he wants to get better. I love it.
    Me too. But I still prefer Jimmy Williams over him. I'm starting to like Tye Hill more and more though.
    RamsFan16

  7. #7
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    Re: Tye Hill interview (Would love to play for St. Louis)

    Hill is a playmaker. Plain and simple. He's certainly an option at 11, IMO.
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  8. #8
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    Re: Tye Hill interview (Would love to play for St. Louis)

    Yes- here we have another caught in the stigma. a great combine and primo speed sweeps him up the charts. Well, done to him, and Kudos to the team, (Maybe the Rams) that drafts him.

  9. #9
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    Re: Tye Hill interview (Would love to play for St. Louis)

    He lacks size, which Haslett likes in his corners.

  10. #10
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    Re: Tye Hill interview (Would love to play for St. Louis)

    Tye Hill woud be a great addition, but i like Jimmy Williams and Antonio Cromartie... they both have great size... 6'3 and 6'2

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    Re: Tye Hill interview (Would love to play for St. Louis)

    Quote Originally Posted by raleigh_ram
    He lacks size, which Haslett likes in his corners.
    Then why would he bring in 5'9" corner Fred Thomas during his first year in 2000, and activate Fred Booker (5'9") from the practice squad this season?

    Haslett's used a number of cornerbacks under the six foot mark. Hill's height shouldn't eliminate him from consideration for Haslett.
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    Re: Tye Hill interview (Would love to play for St. Louis)

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick
    Then why would he bring in 5'9" corner Fred Thomas during his first year in 2000, and activate Fred Booker (5'9") from the practice squad this season?

    Haslett's used a number of cornerbacks under the six foot mark. Hill's height shouldn't eliminate him from consideration for Haslett.
    Haslett had no control over the D!
    RamsFan16

  13. #13
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    Re: Tye Hill interview (Would love to play for St. Louis)

    Quote Originally Posted by RamsFan16
    Haslett had no control over the D!
    What are you talking about? He was the head coach! And a defensive-minded one at that. Of course he had control over the defense. I don't think using two guys really proves anything one way or the other about we prefers at the position, though. But by the same token, even if Haslett prefers big corners, he might take a small one if he thought he was a superior talent.

  14. #14
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    Re: Tye Hill interview (Would love to play for St. Louis)

    I know but I read somewhere on this forum that he had no control over the D when people were questioning the hiring.
    RamsFan16

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    Re: Tye Hill interview (Would love to play for St. Louis)

    Quote Originally Posted by RamsFan16
    Haslett had no control over the D!
    So the Saints signed Thomas and activated Booker AGAINST the advice of their head coach? Hmmm.
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