Natives of Baton Rouge, Collins and Hill talked about their long-time love for the LSU program as the driving force behind their early decision to stay home for college.
Both are never short on stories of watching the Tigers on Saturday night or dreaming about playing in Death Valley.
While head coach Les Miles and offensive line coach Greg Studrawa were credited with landing Collins, all the work to reel in Hill was done by running backs coach Larry Porter.
On Sunday, Porter was formally announced as head coach at Memphis.
Though he had heard the chatter about Porter being named a candidate, Hill said he never gave it a second thought.
“When I heard on Saturday that he was leaving and things had become official, it was absolutely shocking,” he said. “I immediately thought, ‘This could be a really big impact for me.’”
Last week, when chatter really picked up about a possible move by Porter, Hill phoned a close friend – fellow 2011 Louisiana running back prospect Kenny Hilliard.
“Kenny told me he was hearing the same stuff, and both of us just talked about how we should handle it,” Hill said. “Coach Porter was recruiting him to LSU, also, so it kind of threw us both for a loop.
“The main thing that we talked about was who coach Miles would hire. That will be the big thing.”
As the search for a new running backs coach – and recruiting guru – begins, the 6-foot-1, 215-pound back said that he rests assured that Miles will keep him informed of the ins and outs of the process.
“I know that with the season done for LSU and coach Miles having a little time, he will get with me and talk me through what is going to happen,” Hill said. “Hopefully once LSU makes a new hire, I can sit down with the new coach and get another great relationship built.
“Right now I am still solid to LSU, but I would be lying to say that things haven’t changed from where they were when Porter was on staff. He had a huge impact and we had a really close relationship, because he was that first college coach that reached out to me.
“On my first ever visit, he was right there waiting on me.”
Saturday night in Death Valley, as Porter walked off the field after coaching in his final game as a Tiger staff member, the two shared their final moment.
“It was casual and quick, but he told me hello and let me know how great it was to get to meet me and recruit me,” Hill said. “I am definitely sad to see him go.”