By Jake Hefner
This offseason, the least amount of buzz has been generated by the running back position of San Diego Chargers. The questions marks surrounding Ryan Mathews ability to stay healthy for a full season are still a huge concern. The Chargers brought back 31 year old Ronnie Brown for one more year and signed Danny Woodhead via free agency. Heading into training camp there will be a total of seven running backs on the roster.
The past two years, the chargers have taken a running back in the late rounds, in 2011 it was Jordan Todman in he 4th round and in the 2012 it was Edwin Baker in the 7th round. Baker was able to crack the 53 man roster last season. This season however, he may have to look behind his shoulder because there is some competition that is coming fast!!!
Michael Hill, an undrafted rookie out of Western Missouri is looking to make an impact on the chargers roster in a big way. At 5’11, 210 pounds, the Div II running back is nothing short of exciting. In 2012, Hill rushed for 2,186 yards and 16 touchdowns and paired that with 21 catches for 220 yards and 3 touchdowns.
Q: “You caught people’s eye in college with your quickness. Would you say that is your best attribute?”
Hill: “I would say my best attribute is my strength. A lot of people underestimate me and that’s ok with me because the don’t even know until I get in the field.”
Q: “Has there been anyone in training camp that has taken you under their wing?”
Hill: “Really it’s not what what I expected, I thought people wouldn’t want to help me just because it’s the league but every body is willing and that’s what’s shocking! All the running backs took me in like a brother and are helping me everyday.”
Hill holds something in common with one running back in particular, free agent acquisition Danny Woodhead was cut from the same cloth of DIV II football. Woodhead won the Harlan Hill Trophy twice in his college career, an award that Hill was a runner up for this past season. While Making the jump from a smaller college division to the NFL may seem like a completely different game, Hill seems ready for the challenge.
“The tempo is about the same I’d say when it comes to practice and such but the players are all way smarter, faster, stronger and bigger! But the biggest difference is you earn your spot everyday.”
For an undrafted free agent, earning your spot on an NFL roster is never an easy task. Much in the same way that Hills’ childhood idol earned his spot in the the pros.
“I always loved watching Terrel Davis! He was a freak and that’s what inspired me to play running back! What’s funny is I just got number 30.”
Hill brings a very dynamic skill set to the table, a skill set that caught more than just the chargers eye. Indianapolis, Washington, Miami, Denver and Green Bay all attempted to sign the Harlon Hill Trophy finalist, but Hill saw an opportunity in San Diego that he is ready seize. Hill doesn’t just want to make the team, he wants to make a statement.
“My expectations are to make the team, contribute and make an impact on the team this year! Ultimately I want to go down as the best player like everyone else but I just want to help the chargers get an AFC Championship and most definitely a Super Bowl.”
How bout it bolt fans? What do you think of the addition of Michael Hill?
By Jake Hefner
Bolt So Hard!