Hill recovering from injury

Staff Writer
Posted Apr 12, 2012

Austin Hill has been limited in practice due to an injury. Read on to see how he is handling it, how he feels about the coaches, and more.

Austin Hill walked off the field on Wednesday holding a yellow jersey in his hands. It’s not something that he likes and he hopes to rid himself of it soon.

The yellow pullover jerseys have been worn by the injured Wildcats so far this spring and the redshirt sophomore falls into that category.

He suffered a neck injury and has been sidelined for a majority of activities during practices in spring camp.

Hill redshirted his first year on campus in 2010, but slowly built his reputation up last season. He had 9 receptions for 152 yards and a touchdown in the first two games of the season, but then had no catches in the following two games. The second of his catch-less games he suffered a concussion after being knocked out following a hard tackle. He took a shoulder to the helmet and lost consciousness for roughly thirty seconds.

His neck injury that he is currently suffering from may have roots at the concussion. However, Hill returned to action the following week and didn’t develop the neck injury until the offseason.

Since Hill hasn’t been able to participate in very many drills, especially contact drills, he uses his visual learning skills to help himself transition from the old coaching staff to the new one.

He watches the players and the coaches, on the field and on the sidelines.

“I see a lot of people hustling around,” Hill said. “I try to get a feel for the speed and the signals. I watch how [the coaches] give the signals.”

The receiver has also noticed, like all of his teammates, that the tempo of the systems are much faster than the previous year. Hill praised his teammates for making adjustments quickly and noted the coaches as a primary reason.

“The biggest difference is probably the coaches being more vocal," he said. "They’re not afraid to yell at you, but as long as we are doing everything one hundred and ten percent, then they don’t get as mad at you, It’s a huge difference.”

When Hill isn’t watching and learning, he is running and working on footwork. With his neck injury, Hill has also had some trouble moving his arms without pain. If connected with the concussion, it could be a nerve issue, but Hill is confident that he will be at full strength in a few weeks. In the mean time, the coaches have him doing endurance drills.

“They’ve had me doing some endurance drills and some ab work,” the receiver said. “They don’t want me doing too much upper-body wise, but mostly leg stuff.”

The talented receiver hopes to be back in a few weeks and fight for his spot on the field in the fall. Hill has been studying his playbook every day and making sure that he knows where to be and what to look for when he gets back on the field.

“I’m going to come in strong. I’m going to work hard every day and try to get better so I can come back ready to go,” Hill told us. “Nobody really knows where they’re going to be, so everyone is working hard to try and earn their spot. I just have to go out there and earn my spot.”

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