“Not only from the standpoint of does he make plays and catch the ball – he proved that two years ago, but just from a leadership standpoint,” Rich Rodriguez said.
“We've got a lot of receivers this year and Austin's going to be one of the guys that can help teach them every position. So he's like a coach on the field for us, and I know he's hungry to get out there and play.”
Hill’s health has progressed well and it appears he is right on track to be back for the season opener.
“Austin, you could see it in his eyes throughout last season, that he was hungry to get out there and it was hurting him not being out there helping us win games,” Rodriguez said. “He's in good shape now. He's actually taken the knee brace off for workouts now, which is a good thing.
“The good thing about it is, he's going to have a lot of talent around him so he won't have to play as many plays as he did two years ago.”
In addition to Hill, one receiver that is expected to make a big jump from last season is Trey Griffey Jr.
“Trey [Griffey] needed another year to get stronger and know what we were doing,” Rodriguez said. “By the end of the year, he was a guy that could play consistently on the outside. He was a great worker.
“But Trey, you could understand growing up the way he did, some people say maybe he's entitled or something. There is no sense of entitlement whatsoever in Trey Griffey. His parents raised him right. He's a great young man and he has three years left for us to play.”
It is players like Griffey that give the Wildcats arguably the deepest receiving core in the country.
"Now those guys are back a year older with some other guys that sat out and we're going to be so much deeper there that we'll be able to play seven or eight easily and not worry about the quality of play.”