Introducing Troy Hill

Pasadena (Calif.) junior tight end and defensive end Troy Hill has the type of frame that makes college scouts take notice. Hill flashed his athleticism over the summer during passing league as a receiver. Now he is trying to get noticed by sacking quarterbacks.

PASADENA, Calif. — Troy Hill has been torn between playing two sports much of his life.

At 6-foot-6, 227-pounds, basketball was his first love, but he dabbled in football as a youth until he outgrew Pop Warner. Now Hill is turning his focus completely toward football as a tight end and a defensive end for Muir High School.

“It really started at the park just playing with friends,” said Hill. “I had played football some when I was little, but I outgrew the teams so they wouldn’t let me play. Even when I did play, the parents for the other teams would always want to see my birth certificate.

“At the park after my freshman year, I was just Moss-ing (Randy Moss) everybody, so people I knew on the team were like, ‘Man, you should go play football.’

“I love football and I want to play football. Football makes me feel free, like I can let my anger out and use my size.”

Hill was on the Muir football roster as a sophomore but didn’t play. It wasn’t until this summer the Mustang coaching staff saw what he could really do.

“He’s really just learning the game,” said Muir defensive line coach Elic Mahone, who played for USC in the early 90’s. “Troy doesn’t have much football IQ, so I can tell him things and they don’t always compute because he doesn’t know what certain words mean.

“He has a lot of untapped potential, and obviously, he has the size that a lot of colleges look for. We just have to keep working with him. The playbook on defense is more straight forward than on offense.”

Thus, Hill has been starting this season as a defensive end without many reps at tight end. But schools are already noticing his physical potential. UNLV, Fresno State and Arizona State have been on campus to see Hill, but at this point, he has no scholarship offers.

“I’d like to hear from Oregon, UCLA, USC, Arizona and maybe Texas,” said Hill. “I like Oregon but they’re just good and I like watching them play. With SC, I grew up a USC fan watching Reggie Bush, of course.

“I’ve actually been to UCLA a lot because my cousin was a student there. Plus, I like their defense with Anthony Barr and everything.”

Playing defensive end, Hill is learning to crawl before he walks, and walk before he runs.

“Yeah, right now my goal is to lead the team in tackles,” said Hill. “I figure if I’m making tackles, I’m helping my team win. Once I can get in a position to make tackles, then I'll worry about all of that other stuff.”

Muir has a long tradition of producing D-I football players. Hill’s teammate, Taeon Mason, is a four-star wide out already committed to USC. But that’s not where his association with good football players ends.

“I grew up with Taeon Mason,” said Hill. “We went to elementary and middle school together, so we’re pretty close. I also know Desean Holmes too. Desean, Darick Holmes and Darnay Holmes are my cousins. And then I played like a year of Pop Warner with Marvell Tell.

“I played on the Pasadena Trojans with him and then I just got too big. They put me on the biggest team, but I still only played like a year or two. I already weighed about 170-pounds and was 6-foot.

“My dad is 6-foot-5 and my grandpa was 6-foot-9. I have a another cousin who is 6-foot-8, so when I got to high school I was trying to be a basketball star.”

Now, Hill is all about football.

“This is what I want to do,” said Hill. “I played baseball and basketball, but I took the year off from basketball to get focused on football.”

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