Quadtrine Hill was the team's back up fullback last year behind Kyle Cobia along with being the third down running back.
"I plan on doing both like I did last year," he said. "I plan on being starting fullback and playing the running back stuff also."
Hill mentioned that the running back core was much younger than usual for Miami. Including both fullbacks and halfbacks, Miami has two redshirt freshman, three sophomores, one junior, and one other senior besides Hill. It's great news for the future, however in this season's practices, Hill finds himself more like a coach than a player. He says his job is more motivation right now and making sure the younger guys develop.
"Derron Thomas (redshirt freshman) really stepped up a lot and James Bryant (sophomore fullback) has really proved he wants to play on the field," he said.
As for those competing for a full time job, like sophomore Charlie Jones at halfback, Hill still sees some room for improvement.
"I think that Charlie is a little bit behind right now as far as where everyone expected him to be, he's having some trouble with some things he shouldn't be and wasn't having trouble with in the fall, but I think he'll come together," Hill said.
Hill noted that Jones' pass protection needed a little work as well as making reads quicker, but that playing more and getting more reps in practice will definitely improve the spring struggles.
"He's been a little jumpy in the backfield, which takes away from the type of player that he is," he said. "If every play isn't perfect, than we're not where we want to be at as a team."
Coach Coker was optimistic about the running game after practice, saying that he likes the quickness and direction of both Thomas and Jones in the backfield.
As for himself, Hill feels the need to improve on becoming a better overall player and leader in the backfield.
"I'm working on blocking, mental stuff, becoming stronger, not making any mistakes, making good reads, and getting stronger on pass blocking," he said.
Hill also mentioned what running backs and special teams coach Don Soldinger was looking for out of his running backs.
"We do a lot more learning stuff in practice than actually running drills," Hill said. " Soldinger is more of an emphisizer on performance and doing what you have to do and doing it right. You get yourself right if you want to be in this kind of playing shape."
"You get into shape or you're not going to play," Hill said. "He doesn't worry about that stuff. The receivers run a lot, they run drills over and over. We don't do that. Each guy learns his one position, I do two, but we go out there and learn from our performance in practice for the games. It also decides whose playing where."
Practice concluded yesterday with some one-on-one offense versus defense drills with unexpected and unusual noise coming from the offensive players, not the defensive, for once.
"It wasn't even fair, we were running everyone over," Hill said. "I ran over Leon [Williams], James ran over Eric Moncur, Charlie ran over somebody, it was crazy man."
Hill's pretty ubiquitous in Miami's running game. He provides excellent pass blocking with a straight ahead running style. He is solid at 6-2, 221 pounds and provides a great pass receiving option out of the backfield.
Hill was the starter at fullback for the 2002 season before splitting time with Cobia. Hill ran for 97 yards on 16 carries and caught seven passes for 43 yards and a touchdown last year. In the Peach Bowl against Florida, Hill caught one pass for 13 yards as the third down halfback.
With James Bryant still evolving and a young group of backs, look for Hill to carry the ball more and be called upon to step-up on big plays in order for the "Canes to be successful both on the ground and through the air.
Quadtrine Discusses RB Situation
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