Running Back Epitomizes Team Spirit

Following the victory at Northwestern, some of the accolades on offense went to running back Loren Wade, who had a career high 24 carries and rushed for 112 yards. Nevertheless, when Wade wore down in the later stages of the game, it was Randy Hill who did a commendable job in relief securing the victory with his effective running. In this exclusive interview, the humble sophomore told DevilsDigest that he's more than happy to contribute to the team in a backup role.

In the fourth quarter of last week's game, Randy Hill carried the ball for 42 (out of his 50 yards total rushing) yards in a span of five minutes. He was an integral part of ASU's last drive in the game, which ate up valuable game clock, and covered quite a bit of real estate en route to securing the road win. "I think I played pretty good," Hill said of his performance. "I made some mistakes, but they are correctable. We got the win and I'm just happy about that."

Much has been said about the quality depth that is the Sun Devil running backs. As a backup, Hill knows that he can enter at any moment, and he undoubtedly answered the call on Saturday. Whether he gets a significant amount of playing time or not, is irrelevant to him. "I love my team," he exclaimed. "We have a great attitude about everything. It doesn't matter who gets to play, as long as they get the job done. Loren and the offensive line did a great job on Saturday, and I helped in the fourth quarter."

Ironically, Hill's closest friend on the team is Wade. The fact that they're engaged in a fierce competition with each other for a starting job doesn't cause Hill to change his attitude towards his teammate. "That's my brother, and I love him to death (smile)," he remarked. "He helped me out a lot. He's a great runner, and I look up to him because it seems that he does everything perfect. He teaches me and I teach him. He criticizes me and I criticize him. It's just constructive criticism – we take it, we learn from it, and move on."

Seeing limited duty can especially be tough for a local player such as Hill, who normally has a sizeable contingent of family and friends in the stands of Sun Devil stadium. How hard has it been for him to not play for long stretches of the game in front of his loved ones? "It's hard," he admitted. "But when I get into the game I just try and help the team out. No matter how much I play, people tell me after the game that I played well. They always look out for me, but if the team wins they're happy for me."

In limited duty last season, the sophomore averaged 4.9 yards a carry, when rushing for 228 yards on 47 attempts. His lone Sun Devil touchdown came during a close win over Utah State. In two games this year, he has already collected 94 yards on 21 carries. "I need to get better at pass blocking," he said when asked to describe his skills. "Hitting the hole hard is something you always want to work on. Footwork, making reads…I think I'm doing better in all those little things."

Even though he enjoyed the praise he received from his coaches on his performance last week, he has been focused on the team's next opponent for a while now. "We're just ready for Iowa now," he said. "It's revenge. We have to prove ourselves this week. They're a great team and they have a great defense. They're running the same defense like last year, and we have to work hard to get yards against them. We want to come out, get the ‘W', and be ready for Pac-10 play. We're gonna go out there and play the best we can."

Whether he gets a handful of carries or two dozen, playing at the highest level is what the Sun Devil coaches expect from Hill, as he in turn will be ready to answer any challenge that comes his way.

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