Richard Davenport is a recruiting columnist for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
Hill embraces increased role
North Little Rock junior receiver K.J. Hill became a marked man because his early season play and has continued to shine.
“I think that kind of makes a statement as far as the type of player he is and his talent level,” North Little Rock Coach Brad Bolding said. “He understands the game. We get him the ball in some pretty tight spaces and he just makes some phenomenal catches.”
Hill, 6-0, 178, 4.5 seconds in the 40 yard dash, earned his Arkansas scholarship offer by scoring two touchdowns on five receptions for 71 yards and returning a kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown in the opening game of the season with Hog assistants Barry Lunney Jr. and Michael Smith in attendance.
Injuries to running backs Juan Day and Fabian Lewis has forced Hill to carry a bigger role.
“He’s really stepped up to be that guy,” Bolding said.
For the season, Hill has 35 receptions for 527 yards and 6 touchdowns, that includes last week’s Jonesboro game where he including 10 receptions for 143 yards, a touchdown, 6 rushes for 24 yards and completing a 40 yard pass.
Senior Devhon Lindsey gives the Charging Wildcats another threat at receiver.
“That kind of takes a little pressure off of K.J.,” Bolding said. “Really you can’t double up on either one of them, then you’re vulnerable in the running game."
Others interested in Hill’s services include, Ole Miss, Nebraska, Oklahoma St, Notre Dame and Indiana, Vanderbilt.
When Hill attended Arkansas’ camp in the summer, he was less than a hundred percent while dealing with a hip flexor. He was fully recovered when he later went down to Auburn for their camp and earn an offer from the Tigers.
“He’s a guy we have to get the ball to as much as possible, because he can take it the distance at anytime,” Bolding said.
Hill was named to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette Super Sophomore after last season.
“He’s a great kid and his work ethic is phenomenal,” Bolding said. “I think he’s the best player in Arkansas I’ve coached some really good ones. No disrespect toward any other player. I coach in 7A and see a lot of good players and he can take over a game.”