You might not find Tim Hiller of Orrville High School on the so called "A" list of quarterback prospects right now, but he certainly has the credentials to be among them. Hiller was very busy this summer attending camps to hone his skills and get his name in circulation even more than it already was.
"We went to a lot of one-day camps to have them evaluate me and try to get my name out there, making the rounds, and all the camps went well," Hiller said. "A lot of these camps wanted to see you throw in person, see you throw live. Quarterback is a position where you only take one a year usually, and you can't make a mistake, and they want to make sure they're getting the right guy.
"So I got a lot of positive feedback as far as my mechanics and being accurate and things like that. So I feel pretty good about where I am right now."
In addition to the Nike camp at Ohio State, Hiller attended camps at West Virginia, Indiana, Maryland, Miami of Ohio, Toledo, Bowling Green, Pittsburgh, Wisconsin, Purdue, Notre Dame, Michigan State and Ohio State.
"In May, 23 different schools came to Orrville High School to talk to Coach (Bill) McMillan and almost every single one of them said, ‘We like your film and we want you to come to our camp,' " Hiller said. "Well there's no way you could go to all of them and so we judged it based on how much interest we felt we had in them and how much interest they had in me. And so we (family and McMillan) based it on that and we looked at schools we felt that I can play at on this level."
"We've been to Ohio State several times now and I did the week long camp there last year," he said. "Everybody in Ohio grows up a Buckeye fan for the most part. It definitely was a great experience and there were a lot of top (QBs) there, and I love that type of competition. I can really get after it with these guys and see where I stand because these guys are getting recruited by everyone across the country. So it was a lot of fun. I thought I had a pretty good day there. I threw pretty well and I tested okay, and I thought it went it well."
Hiller was not only motivated to perform alongside those other top signal callers, but he was confident that he could hold his own as well.
"A quarterback has to be confident, and I'm confident in my abilities," he said. "I feel that I make good decisions, and I'm every bit as accurate as a lot of them. I'm not being as highly recruited as they are on a national scale, but I'm confident in what I can do, and I feel that I can play with the best of them."
Although his aspirations are as high as those QB's he competed with, Hiller is happy with the way his own recruitment is going.
"I'm comfortable with how this process is going. We have to be a little bit more patient," he said. "But the process is really starting to pick up now. I have some favorites, but I'm not going to say right now. I don't even feel I can make a top five (list) at this time."
And his time frame for making his final decision is unknown to him as well right now.
"It would be nice to make the decision before the season, but I know that I'm not going to let this recruiting process intertwine with Orrville's season in any way," Hiller said. "It's my senior year, my biggest season yet, and we're going to have a good year this year. We have a lot of guys back, and the season takes precedence over this recruiting process. So I don't really know when the decision will come. It's got to be the right fit, and we will see how it goes. As long as we find the best place for me, that's first and foremost."
The camps in general that he has attended have proven to be an overall aid, in his mind, in the recruiting process.
"I think the camps were good for exposure and they were good for seeing where I stand with those particular schools," Hiller said. "And they were good just to get a lot of reps in and work on getting better while also being evaluated. So I thought they went very well."
And Ohio State's camp in particular, Hiller thought he left them with a favorable impression of himself with them whether or not he moved up in their QB pecking order.
"I talked to Joe Daniels afterwards and he was very impressed," said Hiller who was rated the 65th best prospect in the state in the spring by Ohio High. "Since the last time I had seen him, I gained about 10 pounds and gotten stronger, and he felt that I was throwing the ball a lot better than when he previously seen me. He doesn't have a time frame right now for this. They have an offer out to Schoenhoft and (Mark) Sanchez as far as I know, and they may take two this year with losing (Joe) Bauserman to baseball. So a lot of us other quarterbacks are kind of waiting to see what those two do and then the chips will start to fall in place."
At 6-4, 215 pounds, Hiller fits the description of being a pocket passer in the Red Riders wide-open offense. He's already got two years of varsity experience under center going into his senior campaign. Last season, Hiller threw for 2,820 yards with 18 touchdowns and 17 interceptions.
"We're a spread team, and we throw the ball a lot. I think that schools are seeing that I make good decisions, I have good vision and, when necessary, I can tuck it and run," said Hiller who was timed at 4.69 seconds in the 40-yard dash and recorded a 4.18 second shuttle at the Nike camp. "I was able to run for six touchdowns last year, and if necessary I can pull it down and run. Our running game will be better this year, which will help me in the passing game."
Ultimately Hiller would like to lead Orrville to another state title like in the 1998 season when Justin Zwick led the Red Riders to the championship before he transferred to Massillon in his junior season.
"His family still lives in town and we consider ourselves friends with their family," Hiller said. "I was the ball boy growing up, and Justin's a good kid as are his parents and brother and sister. We got to talk to him after the Scarlet and Gray game. We talked to him and his family and I had a few words with him. It was good to see him.
"When I was younger, him and his brother Jared (played QB for Jim Tressel at YSU) were the two quarterbacks that I tried to emulate. Being from Orrville, we always followed them and I definitely have respect for Justin, not only as a player but as a person."
Like Zwick, Hiller would love to play in the Big Ten, be it Ohio State or anywhere else, or the ACC, but he could be happy in the MAC if that's in the cards.
"We're pretty wide open," he said. "I feel that I can play in the Big Ten or the ACC, that top level, but at the same time you look at guys like Josh Harris and Ben Roethlisberger from the MAC schools, and they play as good a brand of football as anyone and they throw the ball around.
"So we'll see what plays out over these next couple of months as far as recruiting, but I feel that I can play at that high a level. I'm confident in what I can do, and at these camps I performed well enough that people can see that I can play at this level, and I'm excited for what's coming up."
Hiller, who averages 18 points a game in basketball and was the conference player of the year, has a 4.0 GPA (all A's) with a 27 on the ACT and 1,160 SAT.