Another Side of Kasim Hill

A different take on UMD QB pledge Kasim Hill.

SEVERN, Md. -- It was a rainy Saturday morning, and it was, at least for a quarterback of his stature, a somewhat meaningless quarterback showcase for four-star and the No. 1 quarterback in the East Region, Kasim Hill, the Maryland early commit.

But like most events he hears about, Hill is all about the competition, thus he was in attendance April 23, despite the elements at Archbishop Spalding High School in Severn, Md. 

It was for yet another test of his skills, competition notwithstanding, a week after being named QB MVP at the Nike Opening in Northern Virginia.

We caught up with Hill, who played at Gilman (Baltimore, Md.) the last three seasons but has since transferred to St John's (Washington, D.C.), in the rain under the bleachers at Spalding for a brief moment before he took the field with about 125 other participants for a quick look at a lighter side of Hill. 

Just about everything has been said about Hill in the two weeks since he committed to Maryland this month, so we took a different tact.

Hill grew up in Bear, Del., and his father, Joe, was from New York and played some safety at Columbia, the school both of his parents attended. So Hill had some early quarterback favorites up North.

"I have always been a [New York] Giants fan, so ever since 2004 it's been Eli [Manning]," Hill said of quarterbacks he emulated. "And then recently Aaron Rodgers and Cam Newton in the NFL because I love their games, love how they compete."

Hill moved to the D.C. area in the eighth grade, and now moves to an up-tempo spread system at St. John's, which should help him down the road in the same system at UMD under offensive coordinator Walt Bell.

"Yeah, up-tempo spread, and we have a lot of good players, lot of good receivers, lot of good linemen. So it should be a really good year," Hill said. "And Shane Lee may be going there, and Cam Spence (IMG Academy/Bradenton, Fla.) might be, too. And Eric Smith is there with me now."

Hill got an early start on his quarterback career, working with his coach, Chris Baucia, since the fourth grade at the Quarterback Factory of Crofton, Md.

"We have a great relationship. And I have just been improving with him every since," Hill said. "Now I am just looking forward to getting even better with him."

Hill said fine-tuning his mechanics "and getting my feet quicker. Always trying to get your feet quicker so you can be at the top of your drop and just be able to make decisions. Then I will be fine," he said of his progression at the position.

Breaking Hill down even more off the field, macaroni and cheese is his favorite food, and history his favorite academic subject. Among his favorite movies is The Usual Suspects, while his favorite book is (and showing his old-soul traits) "I Am Third' by Gayle Sayers, the former Chicago Bears’ all-time running back great.

"History, I just like going back and connecting all the facts to see how things work and connect and everything, It is really interesting to me," Hill said.

In his downtime, Hilton Head, S.C., is his favorite vacation spot with the family.

And off the field, the one thing that truly defines Hill -- those close to him will tell you -- is his relationship with his kid sister and best friend, Kaylah. The 10 year old suffers from Downs Syndrome but has never missed a beat, be it exceeding her own expectations or as brother Kasim's biggest fan.

"There are a lot of special things about her," Kasim Hill said. "She has Down's Syndrome, and she had a lot of stuff at birth that would be challenging for her. But just seeing her fight through that with always a smile on her face, it's just been great to see for me. I am really proud of her. 

"The way she is today, nobody was expecting where she was going to be both mentally and physically. So I am so proud and just glad she is here."

Kaylah is a fourth-grader and a blur of activity, with karate, soccer and tennis, among other pursuits, keeping her on the go. Not to mention being at almost all Hill’s games.

"We call her the ‘Boss,’ because she likes to run the house," Hill quipped.

Kasim Hill is never short of motivation, be it his little sister or his parents, both of whom are in the legal field. It's all a testimony to his maturity, seemingly well beyond his years, for just a high school junior.

"It made me mature quicker because she's learning how to deal with the things that she does,” Hill said. “Because she mentally processes things different than others so it made me grow quicker."

And as far as the football Terps and the start of his career a little over a year from now, Hill said:

"I am very eager to get started. I love the staff up there, they have really turned things in the right direction. Coach Durkin, Coach Bell....I mean, I have been up there like the last four weekends, so I am very excited to be up there with a bunch of friends and to just go play."

Lastly, the name “Kasim,” translated, means “Controller of Anger.”

When asked if he’s living up to his name, the smooth and always cool-customer Hill responded:

“Yeah, I think so.”

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