WASHINGTON, D.C. -- St. John’s (Washington, D.C.) four-star quarterback Kasim Hill committed to Maryland April 9. Terrapin Times was on hand at the 6-foot-1.5, 215-pounder’s game Sept. 3 against American Heritage (Delray Beach, Fla.) to evaluate the dual-threat.
Our analysis is below, while an interview can be seen in the video above:
Kasim Hill is a pass-first dual-threat who should readily fit into Maryland offensive coordinator Walt Bell’s up-tempo spread attack. The 6-1.5, 215-pound right-hander, who can operate out of the shotgun or under center, possesses the necessary skills to be a successful Big Ten quarterback.
Physically, the four-star has a sturdy, developed frame, complete with a muscle-strewn upper-body and a stout base. He has fairly large hands and long, strong fingers, ideal for a Division I quarterback.
On the field, Hill’s cool, collected demeanor resonates. It’s evident he’s the field general, exuding confidence under center -- and his offense responds in kind, playing loose and relaxed. Even under pressure or when St. John’s increases the tempo, Hill keeps his calm and doesn’t fall victim to rushed decisions.
This is most evident when Hill is in the pocket. He refuses to panic when blitzed, displaying the poise needed to deliver a strong pass (or throw the ball away) in the face of a rusher. Furthermore, Hill has that internal clock needed to succeed at the next level. He knows when to step up in the pocket, when to sidestep a defender and when to scramble.
Moreover, Hill has superior in-game IQ, showing the ability to identify coverages pre-snap and adjust on the fly. Unlike most high school quarterbacks, who lock onto their “hot read,” Hill will look off his main target or cycle to his second option if the No. 1 is double-covered.
The St. John’s product isn’t afraid to take chances either. It’s clear he trusts his arm and his accuracy, as he’ll fire passes down the teeth of the defense if he senses an opening. That’s not to say Hill is a swashbuckler; he picks his spots when to take a shot and when to opt for the safer option.
Another impressive quality about Hill is how he keeps his eyes down the field. This isn’t a quarterback who enters a play looking to dump the ball off to a back. He’ll identify mismatches on the outside, wait for the play to develop and go for the home run if it’s available. If not, he’ll come back to shorter/intermediate options.
When delivering a pass, Hill typically displays a compact throwing motion. He has a repeatable, sound follow-throw, which helps his accuracy.
Speaking of accuracy, Hill shows the ability to hit his receivers in stride anywhere from the middle-deep to short range. He’s able to lead wideouts on post routes and puts enough touch on flairs so his backs can create yards after the catch. Even when he’s throwing long, Hill tosses up catchable “low archers” that don’t have too much air under them (read: they’re not “dying ducks”).
The latter quality speaks to Hill’s arm strength. Now, the St. John’s four-star isn’t the next Brett Favre, but he can make every throw he’ll be asked to at Maryland. Hill possesses the ability to ably complete post-corners and outs, along with the various short- and mid-range patterns.
In the pocket, Hill’s footwork has improved; he maintains balance and doesn’t throw off his back foot. He does well both stepping up and shifting to the side when defenders begin to collapse in.
And when Hill is on the run, he remains poised and sound. Many quarterbacks tend to compromise their mechanics in these situations, but Hill keeps his elbow up; his left shoulder in; and puts enough oomph on his throws.
If that weren’t enough, Hill can make plays with his feet if he has to. He has a good motor and a little shake to him, allowing him to get downfield and finish off runs. Again, his first thought is to pass, but he’s athletic and quick enough to move the chains with his legs.
Add all this up, and Hill, provided he readily grasps the UMD offense, projects as a starter in the near future.
Of course, he does need to refine his fundamentals and continue working on his consistency, like all young gunslingers. Once in awhile Hill’s feet will cross when moving around in the pocket, or he’ll throw from a less-than-ideal arm slot. The latter can compromise Hill’s accuracy, which can fluctuate at times.
Hill also could stand to quicken up his release a bit. It’s decent now, but he’ll get the ball out even faster after working in a college program.
Also, the gunslinger can keep improving his arm strength and maneuverability to take the next step in becoming a complete quarterback.