Youngest Bills Is a Sophomore Sensation

Provo, Utah's Timpview High School is known for winning state championships and sending players to D-I colleges. With that combination of talent and execution, the Tunderbirds regularly place players on all-state rosters. In fact last season, Timpview's Craig Bills was the lone sophomore named first team all-state at the 4A level.

Given his family's success on the gridiron, is it any surprise that 6-foot-2, 195-pound sophomore safety Craig Bills is following in the footsteps of his older brothers K.C., Kelly, and Kevin Bills as one of the top high school football players in the state?

If one were to watch Bills control, pursue, and hit opponents from his defensive backfield spot, the first impression one gets is, ‘Is he really only a sophomore?' Bills already has the physique and plays like a varsity senior, and it's almost guaranteed that once he is old enough to be courted by college recruiters, there will be a lot of attention stirring up in BYU's very own backyard.

"To play on our defense you have to be really disciplined," said Bills. "I have to be sure of the pass first because I'm not blazing fast, but the one thing that I do really well is read the run."

Only a sophomore, Bills understands that he could possibly get a little taller and a little bigger by the time he finishes his junior and senior seasons. It's something he welcomes, but just not too much.

"Yeah, I think I probably will get bigger, and I hope I do get bigger," said Bills. "But I don't want to get so much bigger that I get moved to linebacker. I want to stay at the safety position. I really like how at the safety position you get a good feel of the whole field. I'm getting a good feel for it right now, and I'm comfortable there."

Throughout the season, Bills made one hard hitting play after another in both run support and pass defense. He believes his current strength as a defender is stopping the run.

"Going up and making tackles is what I'm best at," said Bills. "I can read the run really well and sometimes I can put myself in position to make the tackles even before the linebackers do. I think that's my strength. I can cover really well but making open field tackles is my strength."

Bills may be a little humble in speaking about his cover skills. The sophomore defensive back recorded six interceptions, some of which were acrobatic and in traffic.

"I had 84 tackles and six interceptions," said Bills. "I also had 10 pass deflections. I guess I have a nose for the ball. I got Deseret News First Team All-State and Sal Lake Tribune Second Team All-State. I'm pretty sure I was all-region."

As a defensive starter on a state championship team, one might think with those numbers that Bills is fast enough, but he is working on getting himself even faster to complement his offensive reading abilities, run support performances, and cover skills. Bills' goal is to convert more of those pass deflections into interceptions.

"I don't need to get any bigger but what I need to do is work on my speed and get stronger," said Bills. "The main thing that I think will help me to play college football will be for me to work on my speed more, and so that's what I'm working really hard on right now."

Bills isn't quite old enough to be recruited by college coaches. However, he has received a few letters inviting him to attend summer camps, and was also told that BYU would be keeping a close eye on him.

"I've gotten some letters but they're just letters inviting me to come to their camps and stuff like that," said Bills. "I was told that BYU was going to be watching me so I just need to work really hard. It's my goal to play college football but I would love to play at BYU. I think that would be just amazing."

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