Hill Waiting and Hoping

At 6 feet 3 inches and 215 pounds, Kahuku High School football prospect Tigi Hill was an imposing player in the Red Raider secondary. However, now he's been switched to a new hybrid position. In the meantime, he's waiting to hear back from some schools that are evaluating his academics.

In 2007, Kahuku head coach Reggie Torres and his staff switched the Red Raider defense from a 4-3-4 to a 3-4-4 and declared it a "roaring success." With the personnel currently in the program and waiting in the wings, defensive coordinator Kimo Haiola will tweak the defense again to an unconventional 3-5-3, with BYU prospect Tigi Hill playing a hybrid position.

"In our position it's kind of a mixture of both safety and outside linebacker," Hill said. "It's called nitro and it's kind of a rover position where it's a free safety and outside linebacker mix. I feel comfortable playing that position because at the next level I'll be playing outside linebacker anyway."

A versatile defender, Hill has both the size and athleticism required to play both the safety and outside linebacker positions. Covering in the secondary requires speed, while playing in the box requires size and strength. Hill has both.

"I increased my bench from 205 to 330 right now," said Hill. "My squat is around 425 but the coaches told me to stop because they didn't have enough weights in the weight room for me to see if I could go higher. We're renovating our weight room right now so we don't have that much weight in there right now."

Currently, Hill has offers from Hawaii and Utah State. However, he is currently waiting to see if three other colleges will jump in the recruiting mix for his services. Those three schools are BYU, Utah and Washington.

"[BYU, Utah and Washington] have been real honest with me about what they want me to do at the next level," Hill said. "The coaches said they don't mind me playing safety but they would rather have me play outside linebacker. They said it was pretty much up to me where I want to play.

"At Utah State, the coaches are really cool. I've spoken with [Coach Kauha'aha'a] a couple of times and saw him this past summer at the All-Poly Camp. He was telling me that safety is probably where they would put me because they got a couple of kids from Hawaii already. He's a really cool guy and is funny. He seems like a really good guy and coach."

Not only did Hill attend the All-Poly Camp in Hawaii, but he also spent a short time in Utah and attended BYU's summer camp.

"This past summer when I went to the BYU camp, my cousin Sae [Tautu], who goes over there, called me after I attended the camp for that day and then flew back to Hawaii," said Hill. "He said they would give me an offer if I would commit to them right there. Although I really like BYU, I just don't want to jump the gun. I've never been in this situation before and just don't know what to do with this kind of stuff. I just kind of held off on that."

While at BYU, Hill certainly didn't go unnoticed by BYU coaches.

"It seemed like they talked to me a lot when I was there," Hill said. "It seemed like I was talking more to the coaches then actually doing the drills. I was trying to do this one drill and a coach pulled me out during one drill and they talked with me about my grades. They said that's the one thing that's holding me back right now, but I took care of that this past month …

"I'm good with all the grades and stuff," Hill continued. "I'm just waiting for the response from BYU. Coach Howell, the outside linebackers coach, was telling me about that. He was telling me he likes what I do and that he really wants me over there at BYU, but it's just that I needed to take care of that stuff first.

"I'm really hoping, because no matter what BYU will always be in my top three schools because of my religion. I really like how they coach and how BYU is my church school. I really liked it over there at their camp."

Due to past recruiting attrition, however, Cougar coaches are cautious and are looking at football prospects with a stable history of maintaining a 3.0 GPA or higher.

"I've been talking to Coach Howell, and he seems kind of iffy about taking a chance on me. I can understand that it's kind of hard taking a chance on me because of where my grades were, but I can promise you that I would try really hard in college. I know if a coach took a chance on me I would be motivated and work hard. That's what I want them to see.

"I just have to show them that I'm very serious about working hard in the classroom and that I'm serious about taking care of my end to honor the opportunity they're trying to give me. Washington and Utah have been pretty good, but BYU is probably my top school."

While Hill said that BYU is probably his top school, he did say that Utah and Washington are also in his top three.

"Washington is kind of the same deal as BYU. They're just waiting on my grades. Washington told me that right when I get my grades up they would offer me. They just said to take a recruiting trip and they would show me the rest.

"Then Coach Kalani Sitaki [of Utah] has been really cool about it. He said he would work with me if I had grade problems. He pretty much told me the whole deal on how they would deal with me."

Hill said leaving the state of Hawaii for school isn't a problem for him. Instead, there are other things that will have more of an impact on his final decision.

"I've been thinking about things a lot and have been thinking about going on my mission. I would like to go to a college that will let me go on a mission and then come back knowing a scholarship is still there. If that is there, then I would pretty much take whoever is fine with that.

"I'm not really worried about playing time. I'm more worried about if I get hurt would my scholarship still be there to go to school – if a college feels that it would be alright for me to continue going to school if I got hurt or something. That would be great and much easier for me to choose that school, because then I know they care more about me as a person than just the fact that I can play football."

It's pretty obvious that Hill is waiting to see what his top three schools are going to do in regards to reevaluating his grade status.

"If I don't get a chance to play at BYU or Utah or Washington, then I'll just go to another school and try my hardest there," Hill said. "I can understand if some schools might be cautious about spending money on me with a scholarship, but I would just try and find another school and work really hard there. Right now I'm just waiting to see."

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