Hill played all but one game of his freshman season on the junior varsity squad. And then the 6-foot-4, 245-pounder missed his entire sophomore season with a minor injury that seemingly refused to heal.
During the spring after his freshman season, Hill broke his hand while lifting. His foot slipped while doing a power clean, which resulted in a cracked bone in his wrist.
"The doctors pretty much said ‘Ah, four weeks [and] he'll be fine,'" Fletcher said. "Well four weeks were over with, and they said ‘Well, it's not healing right, we're just going to screw it up and make sure everything is alright for football.' Did the same thing – came back, still didn't heal."
When the football season rolled around, Hill's hand still hadn't made the desired healing progress. Thus, the doctors decided to keep him out of the first two games of the season. Two games quickly turned into four, before doctors pulled the plug on Hill's sophomore season.
"Finally doctors said ‘I'm not going to clear him [to play at all this season],'" Fletcher said. "So he did absolutely nothing his sophomore year, until basketball got here. They cleared him to play basketball."
"It hurt me on the inside, but I didn't let anybody see it," Hill said of missing his entire sophomore season. "I always wanted to practice, but the doctors wouldn't even let me do that. I just wanted to go into the locker room and put my pads on."
In addition to missing a complete football season, Hill missed important weight room time – almost an entire year's worth of work.
"He's a little behind in the weight room, because he's still catching back up," Fletcher said. "Even though he got to play basketball, they really wouldn't clear him to go full out in the weight room for a while."
But once Hill was finally able to return to the field, it didn't take long for Fletcher to have his questions answered and to recognize Hill's talent.
"The first four ball games, he played as good as anybody that I had ever coached," Fletcher said. "He just played unbelievable."
Hill ended his junior season with 102 tackles and 12 sacks. He also returned a fumble 84 yards for a touchdown.
On special teams, Hill blocked four punts and a field goal.
Hill started on defense, but rotated on offense every other series at tight end. West Brunswick runs an option offense that doesn't pass often. Thus, Hill is primarily used as a blocker on the offensive side of the ball. He did catch ten passes for 209 yards and a touchdown.
Defensively, Hill lines up at just about every position within the front seven.
"He runs so well [that] a lot of times we will stand him up and have him play linebacker," Fletcher said. "… If we're playing a passing team, we'll line him up at defensive end, because he can really get after the quarterback.
"We just mix and match. Some games, he'll stand up more. Some games, his hand is on the ground more. We just try to move him around. I think we need to move him around even more next season."
"He's got good hands," Fletcher said. "If we just played him on offense, he'd be a great tight end. I just feel like we've got to be good on defense, so we've got to play him on defense."
On the collegiate level, Hill's future is at defensive end, which is where most schools are recruiting him. Fletcher agrees with the assessment.
"I just think he's so explosive," Fletcher said. "He can really create havoc when he's coming off the edge… With his body type and what defensive ends do now in college, I think he would ideal [for defensive end]. He is tall [and] he has long arms."
Hill is already receiving plenty of recruiting attention.
"I have had calls from Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, NC State, Wake [Forest], Duke – just pretty much all the Division I schools in the region," Fletcher said.
Hill received his first scholarship offer – East Carolina – last Friday. A couple of days later, he was offered by NC State while attending the Wolfpack's Junior Day.
In addition to NC State, Hill has attended a junior day at Duke. He also plans to attend East Carolina's and Wake Forest's Junior Days, as well as unofficially visit North Carolina in April with Fletcher.
Hill says he favors the five in-state schools – Duke, East Carolina, UNC, NC State, and Wake Forest.
"I don't want to be too far from home," he said.
Hill also runs track for West Brunswick – the 100- and 200-meter dash, as well as the relay teams. Last spring, he registered best times of 11.7 and 22.6 seconds in the 100 and 200, respectively.