Hill leads talented Compton squad

Interest in Porter Hill (6-4, 295, 5.2) from Compton has gradually increased over the past few weeks after coaches from major football programs visited Compton High to watch him and running back/defensive back Anthony Wright work out.

"USC, Arizona State, Ole Miss, Oregon, Washington State, UCLA, San Diego State and Nebraska have been by," Hill said. "There have been a lot of schools that have stopped by, I just don't know about all of them."

The 2006 season will be Hill's second at Compton after transferring from Crenshaw and with the turnaround of the Tartars' football program, the transfer couldn't have worked out better.

"I live down the street from Compton," Hill said. "I was going to Crenshaw because my sister was going there. She's older than me and my mom wanted us to go to the same school and I was cool with that, but I always wanted to try football and Compton wasn't very good at the time. So, I felt I'd have a better opportunity to play there. I started playing the sport last year and fell in love with it. I never had the chance to play before because my mom was scared about me getting hurt."

Anthony Wright also transferred in last year and was one of the reason Compton had a 7-4 record a year after finishing 0-10.

"Anthony Wright came to us from Quartz Hill, but he didn't play football there," Compton head coach Calvin Bryant said. "His mother decided to move out to Palmdale two years ago and he ran track and did other activities, but he didn't play football. So, the family decided to move back to Compton and for a guy who didn't play his sophomore year,rushing for over a 1,000 yards was pretty impressive."

This year, Compton added running back/defensive back Anthony Pines, who transferred from Morningside.

"Anthony came in and a lot of kids didn't know him, but he just took on a leadership role we needed at Compton," Hill said. "Everybody wants to clown around sometimes. Everyone's not on the same page and we needed help from more guys--Anthony was probably one of the pieces we needed. He's a leadership type of guy, and he's a team player. When he first transferred to Compton I asked him what he was going to bring to the team and he said, `I'm not here to be heard, I'm here to be seen. When we put on the pads, I'm going to bring it.' "

Obviously adding talent to the Compton roster contributed to the quick turnaround of the football program, but Coach Bryant is the heart and soul of the program.

"He's (Bryant) just a big helpful guy," Hill said. "He's a mentor, a brother and he just stepped up to the plate. I have a lot of respect for Coach Bryant and he's done a lot for me." Bryant certainly deserves praise for he's done for his team on the football field, but he deserves even higher praise for ensuring his players take care of business in the classroom.

"We have mandatory study hall two times a week and grade checks each week to see how we're doing in class," Hill said. "Some kids thought that Coach Bryant wouldn't check the grades and they ended up doing extra drills after practice, so they had to step their game up in the classroom. He talks to every teacher and there are a lot teachers at our school, but he finds the time to talk to all of them. You have to do your part in the classroom for Coach Bryant to help you on the football field."

Hill was asked if he had any plans to attend any summer camps.

"Me, Anthony Wright and Anthony Pines were talking about that," Hill said. "We'll figure out which camps we'll attend in about a week. We'll each pick one camp to attend and all three of us will go together."

Last season, Hill earned first-team All-Moore League honors at tight end, despite no catches. The honors were a result of his blocking ability, which helped Compton compile more than 5,000 yards rushing. He also played six games at defensive tackle and recorded 18 tackles.

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