At the Elite 11 camp this past Friday at Penn State, after some initial accuracy drills, five quarterbacks were pulled from the groups and given a yellow shirt; a title of ‘Golden Gun Accuracy.' Pittsburgh (PA) Central Catholic quarterback Perry Hills was one of those five quarterbacks selected.
"Each guy that scored the most points in the beginning of the day—hitting the most targets, stuff like that—they got the gold shirt, and got to move on to the next round," Hills said. "I wasn't nervous. I was excited to see where I stood with everyone else, to see if I should be one of those top quarterbacks in the nation, to see where I stand."
Every quarterback prepared for the event to do their best to stand out. In this type of environment, there might be some nerves, but Hills said shaking off the jitters allows you to go out and separate yourself from the rest of the pack, as he did.
"Whenever you're not nervous, you just go out there and do what you're supposed to do," Hills added. "You don't think about things. You just throw the ball more accurate."
In the days leading up to the event, Hills spent a lot of time on his footwork and his accuracy.
"I've been working three times a week on footwork, and my accuracy," Hills said. "My head coach (Terry Totten) got us a net to hang up on the field goal post, with square pockets to throw in. That really helped me a lot. I'm glad they took time out to do that with me."
Saturday, Hills earned quarterback MVP honors at the Penn State Nike Camp, separate from the Elite 11 tryout. Earlier in the week, Hills picked up his first verbal offer from Kent State, making it the most exciting week of his recruitment so far. Though he had been hoping for that first offer for awhile, when it happened, it caught him off guard.
"I was sitting in class, and my coach texted me, he said, ‘Congratulations on Kent State,'" Hills said. "I asked him if he had the right number, ‘I don't know what you're talking about,' Yeah, they just called in my head coach, coach Totten, with the (verbal) offer. They're coming down Monday. Coach Totten was kind of disappointed because he wanted to break the news to me personally. It was great though."
Hills is also an accomplished wrestler, and added that if it comes down to it, making a decision between wrestling and football might be a difficult one.
"It's going to be a really, really hard decision," Hills said. "I've been doing both since I was five years-old. Whenever it comes down to it, I'm going to have to go with what my coaches want, and what my family wants with other colleges."
With a little bit of the pressure off, getting that first offer, Hills now turns his attention to getting more offers. Maryland will be in to see his coaches today. Pitt is another school Hills is interested in, and wouldn't mind getting an offer from.
"I love Pitt," Hills said. "It's right down the street. I like the new coaches. They're really enthusiastic and everything. It's quick down there. A lot of kids from my high school go there, that I know; Tino (Sunseri), (Andrew) Taglianetti. It would be great to get an offer from Pitt, and maybe head down there after high school."
Hills has been to Pitt for a couple of unofficial visits, and has met quarterbacks coach Todd Dodge. He has a pretty good understanding of their evaluation process, and looks forward to hearing more from the Panthers.
"I've gotten handwritten letters from (quarterbacks) coach (Todd) Dodge," Hills said. "I've gone down for spring practice and talked to him. They're supposed to come around some time and see me throw, and I'm supposed to come down for their camp. Coach Dodge will work with me, watch me throw there.
"They're still evaluating. I'm not sure (if they'll offer). I'd love to get an offer from them. That's one of my top schools. We'll just see."