Hills: UT 'Diverse' School, 'Embraces Football'

<b>Tony Hills</b> was in Austin for his first official visit of the year due to his decision of putting off any trips until the completion of his final football game as an Elsik Ram. Advancing to the Class 5A Div. 1 state-semifinals before bowing out of the playoffs postponed the recruiting process just a bit.

Hills told IT he'll visit A&M, OU and LSU at some point in January, but hasn't officially set those dates up. But, with his first official finally in the books, the state's top tight end came away impressed with the Forty Acres.

"I got to see a lot more this time," said Hills of making an official as opposed to an unofficial visit to the Forty Acres. "And what I was able to see was how everyone interacts with one another. And I got to see how much everyone loved football. Most of all, I got to see what Texas was really like."

When asked to elaborate on what Texas was really like, the nation's 6th-rated tight end said, "It's a diverse university that embraces football... really, all athletics. And it's a school that has a coaching staff that really cares about you as an individual, not just a player."

Obviously, the biggest news at UT this weekend was Roy Williams announcing that he'll exhaust his eligibility rather than opting for the temptations of playing professionally and a 7-digit signing bonus.

"I felt like Roy made a good decision by choosing to stay and it showed that schooling is important to him," Hills said.

Hills also sees himself fulfilling his eligibility in order to finish his studies wherever he elects to attend college. Above and beyond playing football, that's the most important thing to him.

And the senior from Alief, Texas seconded Tarell Browns' comments on the return of Roy Williams making Texas a viable candidate for winning a National Championship next season.

"It made me think about how good they (Texas) could be next year," he said.

Asked what his thoughts were on Roy Williams hosting this weekend, the total TE package said, "I was really excited about it and I looked at it as an honor. It was a neat experience to be with someone who's accomplished what he has. And just to be able to hang out with him was really cool. He's a great person and a lot of fun to be around. We laughed and joked around quite a bit. Just had a good time."

And Roy gave Hills some sound advice on what to consider when making his final decision.

"He just emphasized going where the opportunity was best for me," said Hills.

Meeting with the coaches was the last thing to do before heading home so the 6-6, 245-pound tight end had a chance to discuss a few things with TE coach Mac McWhorter.

"We talked about three things -- the opportunity for playing time, what Texas likes to do with their tight ends and the current situation at tight end (depth-charts)," said Hills. "Basically, Texas does a lot of the same stuff we do at Elsik. But they throw the ball a little more than we do. And he said I have the opportunity to make something happen my freshman year, not a guarantee, but that I will have opportunities to do so. Depends on me."

Keep in mind, the Longhorns lose Chad Stevens, the team's the best blocking tight end, and with Bo Scaife attempting to come back from his third knee-injury, Hills is about as much of a must-have for the Horns as it gets. If Texas signs Hills, there's a great chance he'll see the field early and often as a true freshman.

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