Hill Wants To Make Plays

The play of free safety Will Hill has been unremarkable for the most part this season. That changed for the better on Saturday when Hill intercepted three passes, had two huge hits and seemed to be everywhere on the field for the Florida Gators. It wasn't a perfect game, but we finally saw some of the big things Hill can do as a football player. It was something he had been waiting on as well.

Coming into the season, the expectations for Florida's safety tandem of Will Hill and Ahmad Black were through the roof. Through seven games, Black has lived up to the billing. In game eight, Hill took a huge step forward.

There have been mistakes at free safety for Hill and the position is one where any mistake will be magnified. Still, they are expected. The problem has been the lack of big plays and on Saturday Hill had his best game as a Gator. He has been internally struggling to figure out what he had to do to make it happen.

"It was a big game for me to be able to step up and help the team," Hill said Tuesday about the Georgia game that the gators won 34-31 in overtime. "I have been thinking lately about how can I step up and help the team. I played with a lot more aggression. (Before) I was just sitting in the post. In this game I was blitzing a lot and came up with the linebackers. It was like a lot of different schemes too."

Hill is big (6-3, 210) and fast and has all the tools to be an elite player. He just hasn't been able to put those skills in action on game day.

"I played decent," Hill said. "I wasn't playing like a top guy, just a regular guy. I was just average. I missed a couple of tackles (against LSU). Everyone is going to miss tackles its part of the game, but it's how you come back from it. Other games I graded out well, it's just the playmaking I was missing.

"Coach Heater says I just need to work on the fundamentals every day. I have a lot of range and can make a lot of plays. I just need to work on the fundamentals."

Hill almost had the play of the year when he returned an interception 89 yards to the Georgia 2-yard line in Georgia's half of the overtime period. It was a play he thought he had actually scored to seal the victory for the Gators. It was a play that showed all of Hill's attributes that can make him an elite safety. He was asked if he thought he scored on the play.

"I thought I did," he replied. "Obviously I was tired and didn't look at the replay, but I thought I did."

This game will help with his psyche, but Hill doesn't believe it was a matter of proving his worth to anyone. He just was just finally able to do what he knew he could do.

"It helps me with my confidence and helps get my team motivated and to look for more big plays," he said. "I don't think it is a turning point. I just had some things fall in my lap and just made the best of it."

In the game against Georgia, the Gators showed a couple of flaws. The Bulldogs rolled up 429 yards and 31 points and the lack of pass rush was evident. Also starting cornerback Jeremy brown didn't have his best game, but Hill says freshman Cody Riggs came in and played well.

"I think we played pretty decent," Hill said. "I know we could have played better and gave up a lot of yards, When it came down to it we made a lot of plays, so I think we graded out about a B.

"We just have to get better on the defensive line. Jaye Howard is hurt and we have a couple of freshmen coming in and they have to get more confidence. We are playing against NFL players too, we just have to keep encouraging them and they will get better.

"Cody did alright. For him to come in and play the role he did. I know he was nervous out there. I was talking to him on the field. He fell one time…that's football. But, he made his plays when he had to make his plays."
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