Recruiting: Hills 'Wants To Be a Part' of UT team

The <B>Mack Brown</B> blue-chip wagon's rolling forward and picking up steam. After gaining verbals from such standouts as <B>Billy Pittman</B> and <B>Tarell Brown</B> in the last week, <B>Tony Hills</B>, the state's top tight end, decided also earlier in the week to end the recruiting process for the right to bring his monstrous 6-6, 260-pound frame to The University.

The undecideds are dropping like flies. If things keep moving at this rate, Brown could have the class of 2003 filled long before National Signing Day in February.

Don't get too caught up on Tony Hills' pedestrian stats (15 receptions for 285 yards). The senior Elsik Ram played in an offense that employed an option attack and was used primarily as a blocker. With Chad Stevens going down before the K-State game, the Longhorns lacked a bonafide blocking tight end replacement and the need for one is even greater with Stevens turning in his equipment before the start of the 2003 season. Hills, who is a trench warrior, is used to the rigors of hand-to-hand combat in the fight for supremacy in line of scrimmage warfare. Of course, that isn't the only thing Hills can bring to Greg Davis' offense. He should become an integral part of the passing game, using his physical presence and outstanding size to work the middle of the field as well as stretching opponents' secondaries, utilizing his 4.6 speed in the forty to serve as a legitimate deep threat.

With many of the nation's elite programs jockeying for an official visit, Hills spurned them all when he elected to pull the commitment trigger because of what he described as "a great atmosphere all-around."

Hills went on to say, "I really liked Austin. The players are great too. The team unity is something I wanted to be a part of. And they (Texas) have a great coaching staff. It's just great there."

Hills said he called Mack Brown on Wednesday evening to tell him, "I want to go to UT."

"Welcome to The University of Texas," is what Brown replied according to Hills. "Basically, he just welcomed me with open arms," said the complete-package tight end.

Asked why he picked UT over everyone else, Hills said, "It's just the fact that I've been thinking about Texas for a really long time. And it was a decision based on what I saw when I was down there the few times I visited. It's just where I want to be."

IT's interview was cut short as Hills said Mack wanted him to stop talking with the media (after he graciously granted IT what supposedly will be his last interview). Brown's circling the wagons and may have a national championship run in mind for next year's Longhorn football team as he attempts to keep even the newest members of his team sheltered from the distractions media can sometimes create.

So, there will be a tidbit or two in the Inside Scoop about Hills' commitment and that's it. Straight from the UT head man himself.


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