<
>
Insider

Tide OL commit Hill transitions to football

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- Grant Hill doesn’t know what it feels like to have time off these days, but that’s just fine with him. That’s the life you live when you’re a two-sport athlete in high school, not to mention a two-sport athlete headed to the University of Alabama.

Hill, who committed to the Crimson Tide in February, is considered one of the top offensive lineman in the state for 2013, and he’s also one of the state’s top discus throwers. He set both a sectional and school record last month with a discus throw of 184 feet.

After the track season wrapped up, Hill took just one day off before he was back out on the football field, preparing for Huntsville High School’s spring game.

“I think it went pretty good,” Hill said after the game. “It was kind of a tough transition between track and football. I only had three days of practice, but it was good just to get back out there and be hitting people.

“The hardest part was just getting used to the hits I guess and getting into that different mentality and mindset.”

At the game, Hill looked a little rusty but was still very impressive. The 6-foot-5, 320-pound lineman cleared the way on a couple long touchdowns runs and held his own in pass protection. He played primarily at right tackle for the Panthers.

Alabama offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland was at the game and got to see first-hand what type of player he was getting to work with in the future.

“It’s an inspiration really, and it’s an honor, too, to have a coach from such a highly regarded school like Alabama [there],” Hill said. “I guess that really pushed me to be on my A-game.

“I talked to him later on the phone, and we just talked about the game and how things went. He was excited about me, and he’s ready to work with me. He talked about angles and stuff that I was taking. He complimented me and said I was light on my feet for a big guy.”

Hill probably looked lighter on his feet at the spring game because he lost nearly 20 pounds during the track season, trimming down from 320 to 300. It helped make the transition to football go a little smoother.

“I did notice during practice and in the game,” Hill said. “I’m in better shape. I can move better. I can bend more. I can sink my hips better. It’s just an overall better experience. I cut down on a lot of unnecessary fat from last year.”

This summer, Hill plans to get back in the weight room and add some of the weight back on in muscle. He’d like to be around 310 pounds by the start of his senior season.

However, he doesn’t want to lose his quickness or his flexibility in the process. The UA commitment is going to great lengths to continue to improve his flexibility, which he says will help with his technique.

“I know this sounds weird, but I’m going to try do a little bit of yoga on Saturdays to try to loosen up, get my hips and get my flexibility better overall. I’m just going to try to be as good as I can be for next year.”

Hill is planning to visit Tuscaloosa one of the first two weekends in June.