The 90 Illini #40: Alex Hill July 23, 2012
6′-3″, 325 lbs.
rs-Sophomore (on scholarship, 3 years to play 3)
Slidell HS / Slidell, Louisiana
ALE Ranking last year: #52
ALE Ranking in 2010: #81
What I Know About Him:
I know I tell this story every time I mention Alex Hill: He had a solid offer list (including Missouri and Texas A&M), but he came down to Illinois and Duke. Visited both in January 2010 and then came to a decision a few days before signing day. Who did he pick? He decided that the next text he got from his girlfriend would give him the answer. If the letter “D” appeared first in the text, he would go to Duke. If it was an “I”, he would go to Illinois. It was an “I”, he signed his LOI, and that was that.
It will be interesting to see how the new offensive scheme fits Hill. He started two games last fall (Michigan and Wisconsin, I want to say), and he was next in line at the weakside guard position. Now that we’ve done away with weak/strong offensive lines, where does he fit? Right or left guard? Maybe center?
What I Expect From Him:
I see two scenarios. And he’s a left guard in both. In the first scenario, he backs up Hugh Thornton this season and then takes over the starting role as a junior and a senior. The second scenario has Hugh Thornton moving back out to right tackle for his senior season (where he played as a freshman), with Alex Hill taking the starting spot at left guard this fall.
I guess there’s other options. He was recruited as a center – maybe he backs up Pocic this year and starts next year? Of course, right guard is wide open with The Beard graduating – maybe Hill enters the battle there with Tyler Sands and Teddy Karras and ends up surprising everyone by winning the starting role.
Whichever way it goes, I really think Alex Hill plays a big role in this offensive line. Maybe as a backup this year, but definitely as a starter in 2013.