"T.J.'s starting, and he's a real good player. I'm just trying to complement him," Hill said. "I feel that as good as he is, he will most likely be going to the NFL. There will be a lot of scouts coming in to watch him this year, and I think playing with a guy like that will help my game get even better."
T.J. Williams is a great player to learn from. Blessed with above-average speed and good hands, Williams was NC State's leading receiver in 2004 with 31 catches for 382 yards. A nominee for the 2005 Mackey Award, given to the nation's top collegiate tight end, Williams has also had a great fall. In the Wolfpack's first scrimmage, he totaled four catches for 64 yards, game-highs. However, his "understudy" also had a great scrimmage, as Hill finished with three catches for 29 yards in limited action.
"I think that I performed okay in the scrimmage, and I've had a good fall," Hill said. "I think as a whole I still have a lot room for improvement and so does the offense. We just want to keep getting better and have good season.
"I feel like we can still keep improving. That's from the offensive line, to the wide receivers, to me... to everybody."
Hill is a huge target at tight end, standing 6-foot-6 and tipping the scales at 270 pounds. As a true freshman in 2004, he played in four games and was used mainly as a blocker in short-yardage situations but he can also be a threat in the passing game.
He arrived at NC State after spending a year at Hargrave Military Academy, where he was one of the top athletes on a loaded prep school squad. He starred at defensive end and tight end for Hargrave, and saw his recruitment explode after showcasing his athleticism at the school's annual combine. Measuring in at 6-foot-6 and 260 pounds, Hill was timed at 4.75 in the 40-yard dash, posted a 33-inch vertical jump, and did 20 reps of 225-pounds on the bench at the Hargrave combine.
His blend of size, strength and athleticism allowed him to project at several different positions on the next level. Some schools liked him at defensive end or defensive tackle. Others felt he had the frame to grow into an outstanding offensive tackle. However most, including NC State, believed he would end up at tight end, and Hill inked with the Wolfpack after considering offers from UNC, Mississippi State, and Clemson among others.
It was an easy decision for Hill, and he is happy to be playing at tight end even if a star senior is playing ahead of him.
"That is the place the team needs me at, and I'm just trying to help out the team the best that I can," he said. "I'll get a chance to play and when I do it will be up to me to make plays. I will be ready."