Facing Bills Can Become Physically Expensive

Timpview safety Craig Bills has already been rated as a four-star recruit, despite the fact that he is only a junior. The hard-hitting Thunderbird and the intimidation factor that he brings to the field definitely warrant such a ranking.

While scouting out Timpview's football team last year, there was one prospect that stood out on the defense. Now, keep in mind that this was a football team full of top-quality defensive athletes that would go on to lead Timpview towards Utah's 4-A State Championship. The player that stood out was sophomore safety Craig Bills, who simply imposes his will on opposing offenses.

Now a junior in high school, Bills is only adding to the hype as more and more media outlets have begun to recognize his on field abilities.

"It's been a good season for me," said Bills. "I think I've grown more. I think I'm smarter this year in my position. Last year I wasn't able to read the [offensive] line as well. I gained more speed to where I can now read the line and go up and make plays. Our front seven are doing a great job, and it's not like you need the secondary up there to make plays or anything, but I think I'm understanding our defense better and my position better since this is my third year playing in it."

By growing within his position and within the Timpview defense, Bills has basically become everyone's Halloween nightmare every game day. Not only has his physical style of play knocked out opposing players from games (he even once gave his older brother Kevin a sore shoulder while trying to make a hit on a kid as Kevin was making the tackle), but he's also emotionally affected opposing coaching staffs standing on the sidelines.

"Craig Bills is a punk," said Timpview head coach Louis Wong while laughing. "That's just the competitiveness that Craig has. You don't see too many white guys that will punk some brown guys, you know. It's like, ‘Yeah, bring it on and I'll kick your butt,' and that's what I love about him. But he's also a good kid. I mean, even though he's a punk, he understands football and he knows he's the quarterback out there on the field, and he takes that role very seriously."

As a sophomore, Craig Bills was the only player in the state of Utah to become a First-Team All-State performer, and his numbers were close to those of Utah 5-A MVP performer Jordan Pendleton as a senior. As a junior, Bills has been ranked early with a four-star rating and looks to continue his on-field prowess as a hard-hitting, fear-promoting senior.

"I think it's going to be really good next year," said Bills. "I'll have an even better understanding of the game in not only knowing what I'm doing, but what everybody else is doing. I think I can be more of a leader and I think it will be good."

"He raises the bar for everybody because everybody wants to be like him," said Coach Wong. "Everyone wants to have that mentality that he has. Everyone wants to hit like he does and try and outplay him. We have another kid coming up that's a sophomore, Chris Badger. He's plays the other side of Craig as a safety and we tell him that he has to get the mindset that Craig has, so it helps to push him, and he wants to be at Craig's level, so he works hard."

Bills committed to sign a letter of intent to play football for BYU. His commitment to become a Cougar is still as solid today as it was when he gave it.

"I'm still really excited to go to BYU," said Bills. "It's going to be great and I love just going there and watching their games. It's really awesome. When I get there I don't know what I'm going to do. I might just redshirt or play my first year, but I'll have to see what goes on. My goal when I'm at BYU is to start for at least three years. I'm just going to work my butt off and I'm just really excited. It's going to be fun."

With BYU facing Colorado State this weekend, Bills believes BYU will beat the Rams at home in front of a sold-out crowd.

"I think we're going to do good," said Bills. "I think with the off week, they're probably really eager to play."

Bills said he believes that of all the Cougars, Harvey Unga will have the best game against Colorado State. His reasoning behind that belief was that he had to "go with the Timpview guy."

Many top-quality football programs have expressed a lot of interest in Bills, and even LSU recently asked for his transcripts, but he understands that BYU's program is vastly different from any other college program in the country. It's these unique attributes that have endeared BYU to Bills.

"The program is different because the whole atmosphere is different," Bills said. "There's the honor code, and I think Coach Mendenhall upholds that and uses that to his advantage. I think it makes BYU a different place because of that. I think he is not only about football, but [also about] school and religion. I think that's what makes BYU different also. He's just an all-around good coach and good guy. Not everyone can go to BYU, even if you are a good player."

Because athletes have to be more than just a good football player to receive one of the coveted scholarships to play for and represent Coach Mendenhall's program, Bills understands that both he and the others high school football players that have received BYU scholarship offers have been paid a great compliment.

"I think it's an honor to play at BYU," said Bills. "I just hope that when I get there that I can uphold the responsibility that I have to make Coach Mendenhall look good for the decision he made in giving me the opportunity to represent more than just a football team. I hope I can perform to the expectations, because he's put a lot of trust in me."

Bills feels that the unique identity of BYU that Coach Mendenhall is building and promoting to attract specific types of players will eventually transform BYU into a powerhouse football program.

"[Coach Mendenhall] has all the tools and the coaches to build a unique program," said Bills. "He's just getting all the recruits to take BYU to the next level. The team he has right now is really good too. Not everyone can play football at BYU because it takes more than just being a football player to play there."

Bills Snapshots

Bills Closes In

Bills Stretching the Defense

Just Before Moment of Contact

Bills Prepares To Hit and Wrap up

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