LeRoy Hill Still Follows His Tigers

Continuing our series checking in with former Tigers in the National Football, today we visit with LeRoy Hill, who is now playing for the Seattle Seahawks. Hill said, "I watch every game and am there talking trash. I think they will go as far as that backfield takes them."

In 2004, Clemson linebacker Leroy Hill was named ACC Defensive Player of the Year. He also earned all-conference honors for the second straight season.

In the spring of 2005, the Seattle Seahawks made him a fifth round pick and as a rookie, Hill played in the Super Bowl.

Even though Seattle came up short in that affair, Hill realizes how rare it was to make it to the biggest stage in pro football in just his first season. He and the rest of the Seahawks remain committed to a single goal-getting back to the Super Bowl. But this time, they look to finish the job and capture the first World Championship in franchise history.

CUTigers recently caught up with Hill from training camp in the Emerald City and here's what this ex-Tiger had to say:

CUTigers: How do you look back on your days at Clemson?
Hill: It was a great time. I wish I had started playing a little earlier because I didn't get on the field until my junior year. The atmosphere, the town and the south, I miss it all.

CUTigers: What are your thoughts on the rivalry with South Carolina?
Hill: It was a big rivalry. When I first got there, I didn't really feel it like the guys who were from South Carolina. But as time went by, it got rooted in me. Early in my career, I was more interested in playing Georgia and Georgia Tech because those were my home teams but after while, I grew to hate them as much as the guys from South Carolina.

CUTigers: Discuss what the biggest adjustment was for you on the field to the NFL.
Hill: It was the mental aspect of the game and the speed of the game. Those are the two things that college players have to adjust to the most in the NFL. Football is a lot more in-depth in the NFL and the game is also a lot faster.

"I've been reading up on them and it looks like they are going to be pretty good. Those two backs they have look good. I watch every game and am there talking trash. I think they will go as far as that backfield takes them," said Hill.
CUTigers: What about off the field?
Hill: Coming to a new city was the biggest adjustment for me off the field. I came to a different place. Going from Clemson to a big city like Seattle was a big adjustment. It's cool now and I would probably never stay in a small town again but it's definitely fast-paced here.

CUTigers: This is your third NFL training camp. What is the biggest difference between this camp and your previous two?
Hill: I don't have to study my playbook as much. Luckily, I have had the same coaching staff my whole time here, so the defense hasn't changed. They have just added little tweaks here and there. That gives me more relaxation time. We still practice hard and know how to practice. But when you look at rookies now, they are reading their playbooks but we don't have to that, so there's a little more time for relaxation.

CUTigers: Was it a surprise when Seattle took you in the draft?
Hill: Seattle picking me was a surprise. I figured that Cincinnati might take me. Seattle was off my radar but when they picked me, I thought it was cool.

CUTigers: How many Clemson home games do you plan on making it back for this year?
Hill: I don't know if I will make it back for one this season. I have been wanting to come back for a game since I left but with my little brother at Georgia Southern, when we get our one bye week, I use it to go see him play. I am going to try to make it to the spring game next year.

CUTigers: What are your thoughts on how you think Clemson will do in 2007.
Hill: I've been reading up on them and it looks like they are going to be pretty good. Those two backs they have look good. I watch every game and am there talking trash. I think they will go as far as that backfield takes them. I have side bets on every Clemson game with my teammates. It doesn't matter which conference it's against. They are mostly cash but I have seen bets with other players where the loser has to wear the winner's colors.

CUTigers: How bad do you and your teammates want to return to the Super Bowl?
Hill: After we saw blood my rookie year by going to the Super Bowl, that was all we knew. All we talked about after that was getting back there. That's our focus every year.

CUTigers: Discuss your thoughts on the NFL Scouting Combine.
Hill: You look back on it and that's sort of what it is (a meat market). It's all about who can jump the highest or run the fastest. I think they should go more on what you do on the field and not your 40 time or your vertical jump.


LeRoy Hill (10/04)

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