Just because he has committed to Arkansas doesn't mean that other college football programs have let up on the recruiting of North Little Rock standout K.J. Hill.
“If anything, it's picked up more, which is something that I didn't expect at all,” Hill said. “I thought when I committed to the Razorbacks (on August 29) it would die down, but it hasn't. In fact, Florida called me just before the game tonight and all of the other schools are still calling as well. It seems like when I committed, it came even harder.”
Hill had 124 yards total offense Friday night in the Charging Wildcats' 43-33 loss at Fayetteville.
That included 4 catches for 55 yards and 5 carries for 71 yards with a 53-yard touchdown dash that put his team ahead 33-28 with 8:25 left in the game.
His scoring run came out of the Wildcat, something that North Little Rock (1-1) had been practicing all week.
“We had been practicing it all week and saw some holes in their defense that we thought we could take advantage of,” Hill said. “That was the play that I scored off of. It worked really good and I think we will do it some more.”
The Fayetteville-North Little Rock game could be a match-up seen again later this season in the state playoffs.
“I think it very well could be,” Hill said. “Fayetteville is a good team. They are really disciplined and didn't make a lot of mistakes. We just have got to make more plays, more plays than we did tonight.”
Fayetteville tight end C.J. O'Grady (6-5, 230) – another Razorback 2015 pledge – had 5 catches for 95 yards and a score and the former back-up quarterback also threw a go-ahead touchdown to current sophomore quarterback Taylor Powell.
“He (O'Grady) is going to catch everything near him and go up and get it if he needs to,” Hill said. “He is a real playmaker.”
Arkansas State safety commit Dre Greenlaw (6-1, 220) had an interception for Fayetteville while Northern Illinois tailback pledge D.J. Brown (5-9, 180) scored twice on a 7-yard catch and a 22-yard fumble return for a touchdown.
Perhaps the biggest star of the night was Fayetteville junior tailback Luke Rapert, who had 32 carries for 185 yards rushing, while sophomore Terrance Rock – son of former Razorback track star Brandon Rock – added 72 yards on 16 carries.
Powell, Fayetteville's sophomore quarterback, was 9-of-22 for 122 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions.
While committed to the Razorbacks, Hill will still take all five of his official visits with treks scheduled to Ohio State (Sept. 26-28), Notre Dame (Oct. 3-5), Florida (Oct. 10-12), Arkansas (Nov. 14-16) and Alabama (Nov. 28-30).
Hill is excited about how the Razorbacks have played in its last two games while scoring 122 points - the most in school history in back-to-back games - with wins over Nicholls 73-7 and at Texas Tech 49-28.
“They've looked good and I think they are really about to come on,” Hill said. "I can really see us getting back there quickly with all this Arkansas talent coming to Fayetteville together."
North Little Rock – who is playing its home games at War Memorial Stadium this season as its on-campus stadium is renovated – will host Pine Bluff next Thursday.
Hill hopes it will be a little less stressful than the season opening win over Little Rock Catholic, which was played after a bus crash happened involving the Charging Wildcats offensive players and offensive coordinator Blake Pizan.
There were actually seven vehicles carrying a total of 115 people involved in the accident.
“It was very challenging,” Hill said. “We didn't think we were going to play and our minds really weren't in it. But then they said 'C'mon, we are going to play.' It was in the back of our heads and we really didn't play that well. Not having an offensive coordinator there affected us a lot...We did the best we could and came out with a win.”
• • •
Arkansas 2015 center commit Zach Rogers – one of three players who has signed a financial-aid agreement with the Razorbacks and is slated to be a mid-graduate – suffered a broken ankle last night.
Rogers, who plays for Hebron in Carrollton, Texas, suffered a knee injury in August of 2012 and missed the entire season.
• • •
Some other top performances from this weekend involving Arkansas recruits:
• Arkansas quarterback commit Ty Storey of Charleston threw a 67-yard touchdown pass on the game's first play and finished 10-of-12 for 151 yards passing while playing just the first half of his team's 42-6 mercy-rule win over Gentry.
• Nashville wide receiver LaMichael Pettway accounted for 5 touchdowns – 4 on the 4 catches he had for 122 yards and also scored on a 62-yard run. He also picked off a pass for good measure.
• Dumas tight end Will Gragg - who will make his college choice public on Sept. 23 - had 9 catches for 92 yards.
• Razorback 2015 WR pledge Deon Stewart had 4 catches for 109 yards and a score and also had 7 tackles.
• Arkansas junior WR commit Jordan Jones of Smackover had 3 catches for 48 yards and a 57-yard punt return for a touchdown.
• Pulaski Robinson junior T.J. Hammonds had 6 carries for 115 yards and a touchdown along with 4 catches for 110 yards and 2 more scores.
• Arkansas tailback recruit Rawleigh Williams of Dallas Bishop Lynch carried a whopping 43 times for 228 yards and a touchdown.
• North Carolina prep tailback Reggie Gallaspy had his fourth straight game this season with over 200 yards and he rushed for 296 yards on 26 carries and is already over 1,000 for the season.
• Conway junior quarterback Breylin Smith was 17 of 26 passing for 306 yards and 5 touchdowns with no interceptions with Arkansas offensive line pledge Colton Jackson leading the way in a win over Jonesboro.
• Little Rock Christian junior tailback Damarea Crockett had 17 carries for 135 yards and 3 touchdowns.
• Waco, Texas, Midway safety Kahlil Haughton had 6 tackles, broke up 3 passes and also forced a fumble.
• Independence, Mo., Fort Osage quarterback Skylar Thompson was 11 of 14 for 297 yards and four touchdowns.
Photos by Andy Shupe
Hill catches one of his four passes on Friday night.
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