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2009 Football Roster

Will Hill


6' 1"
West Orange, N.J.
202 lbs.
St. Peter's Preparatory
Will Hill

CAREER: Safety who saw action in 38 games, including 15 starts, before declaring for NFL Draft following his junior year...Collected 144 total tackles, four interceptions and 1.5 sacks...Has led the team two of the last three years in special teams’ tackles.


2010: Started in all 10 regular season games he played in, recording 48 tackles (30 solo and 18 assisted)...Starter on the punt coverage team the last nine games…Tied for a team high with six tackles in the 2011 Outback Bowl victory over Penn State…Picked up four solo tackles in the road game at FSU...Registered three tackles in the win at home vs. Appalachian State…Collected four tackles against South Carolina…Tallied two solo tackles in the victory at Vanderbilt...Had a career game in the win over Georgia, picking off two passes, including an 89-yard interception return in overtime, while registering six tackles…Collected his first interception of the season in the second quarter that set up a touchdown run by Trey Burton... Also foiled a two-point conversion attempt with a sliding catch in the end zone...His 89-yard return was the second-longest in the country in 2010 (longest in SEC), the 14th-longest in the SEC since 1996 and tied for the longest by a Gator since 1996 (Tony George, 89, 1997)...Was named the Defensive Player of the Game and graded out as a Champion for his efforts...Tallied seven tackles at home vs. Mississippi State…Recorded a season-best nine tackles against LSU, including one for loss…Registered two tackles and a pass breakup vs. Alabama…Recorded five tackles in the victory over Kentucky…Made his first start of the season in the win at Tennessee, tallying a secondary-high six tackles along with his first career forced fumble…Did not see game action in the wins over Miami University and USF.


2009: Appeared in all 14 games and made five starts at safety...Totaled 42 tackles, including 31 solo...Led the team for the second-consecutive year in special teams’ tackles, finishing with 13 tackles in kickoff and punt coverage...Recorded three solo tackles and one pass break up in the Sugar Bowl win over Cincinnati...Tallied five tackles (three solo) and was credited with a QB hurry in the win over FSU...Had three tackles (two solo), including the first quarterback sack of his career for a loss of 12 yards in the SEC road win over South Carolina. • Totaled three tackles, two solo, in the win over Vanderbilt...Matched a season-high with six tackles (five solo) against Georgia...Led the defense with a season-high six tackles in the win over Arkansas...Collected five tackles (four solo) in the win over Tennessee...Made his first career start against Charleston Southern, tallying one tackle...Has seen action at both free and strong safety.


2008: Named to the SEC All-Freshmen team and selected by College Football News as a second-team All-Freshmen performer...Appeared in 13 games as a true freshman, missing one game due to injury...Played a key role on special teams, leading the team with 22 special teams’ tackles...Led all freshmen with 48 total tackles...Recorded three tackles in the BCS National Championship Game playing on the kickoff unit and at nickel back...Also recorded three tackles against Alabama in the SEC Championship Game...Had an interception in back-to-back games against South Carolina and The Citadel...Collected three tackles, including one tackle for a loss of three yards, and an interception which he returned for 23 yards against The Citadel...Had a stretch of four games in which he recorded five-or-more tackles...Had five tackles and and interception returned for 30 yards against South Carolina...Notched five tackles and 0.5 tackles-for-loss at Vanderbilt...Had four solo tackles and an assisted tackle in the win over Georgia...Set a career-high with 11 tackles, including nine solo, in the Homecoming win over Kentucky...Recorded four tackles in his collegiate debut against Hawaii.


PREP: Parade All-American...EA Sports first-team All-American multi-purpose selection...Competed at the ESPNU Under Armour High School All-American Game, where he returned an interception 62 yards...First-team all-state selection as a senior...USA Today first-team All-American...Two-time New Jersey Star-Ledger Offensive Player of the Year...Three-time AP New Jersey first-team all-state selection...Multidimensional threat for St. Peters Preparatory School, serving as a three-year starter at quarterback, safety and a returner on special teams...Recorded three interceptions, made 36 tackles and broke up three passes during senior campaign...Gained 960 yards on the ground while tossing for 947 yards and accounting for 26 touchdowns (19 passing, seven rushing)...Led the Marauders to a 34-2 record in three years, including a 12-0 mark and the NJSIAA Non-Public Group 4 Championship as a sophomore...Responsible for 3,817 all-purpose yards and accounted for 34 touchdowns as a junior...Rushed for 682 yards (11.7 yards per carry) and 13 touchdowns as a junior while throwing for 758 yards and 11 scores...Picked off three passes as a junior and brought back two kickoffs for touchdowns...Returned an interception for a touchdown the first time he touched the ball in 2004...Rated a five-star athlete by as the top athlete in the class of 2008 by’s No. 5 football recruit...No. 2 in the ESPN 150...Listed as the fifth-best player available by and the top-ranked safety...Committed to Florida at the ESPN Zone in New York City...Coached by Rich Hansen.


MAJOR: Social & Behavioral Sciences.



Tackles: 11 (Kentucky, 2008)

QB Sacks: 1.5 (South Carolina, 2009)

Forced Fumbles: 1 (at Tennessee, 2010)

Fumble Recovery: None

Interceptions: 2 (vs. Georgia, 2010)


















































·         Played in the 2008 Under Armour High School All-American Game with fellow Gator teammates Janoris Jenkins and Caleb Sturgis

·         Nicknamed “The Thrill”

·         Became good friends with classmate Jeremy Brown during the recruiting process after visiting Gainesville

·         Saw former UF safety Major Wright through video highlights and wanted to play with him; committed to Florida on ESPNU

·         So impressed by his visit to The Swamp for the Tennessee game that he remembered the actual attendance – 90,707



“I played decent [early in the season]. I didn’t play like a top guy. I was just playing as a regular guy, I know what the coaches expect and I know what the team expects and I wasn’t up to those expectations. I was just average. [Saturday versus Georgia] was a big game for me. To be able to step up and help the team, I’ve been thinking about a lot of stuff like how can I help the team, how can I better myself, how can I better the team? By me performing the way I did, it just showed a lot of improvement.” (11/2/10)

Will Hill, UF safety


“From what Teryl Austin mentioned, this was Will Hill’s best game. We have been waiting for that all year. We have had some fantastic free safeties around here, starting with Reggie Nelson, Major Wright, to now Will Hill. Will Hill played very well tonight.” (10/30/10)

Urban Meyer, UF Head Coach, on Hill’s two-interception game vs. Georgia


“I think he's one of the better safeties in the country.'' (9/11/10)

Urban Meyer, UF Head Coach

He’s very much the same way in his talents and gifts. He’s got great range and the ability to do a lot of the same things Reggie did.” (8/21/10)

Chuck Heater, UF Safeties Coach, comparing Hill to former Florida All-American Reggie Nelson


"I follow everything he does, learn as much as I can.  He teaches me as much as he can so I just pay attention to everything he does and try to copy everything he does to the best of my ability. I want to make myself as good as he is, or try to get even better." (8/20/10)

Jonathan Dowling, UF safety


“He’s going as hard as we’ve ever had a safety go around here. He and (Chuck) Heater have a really good deal going on back there.” (8/17/10)

Urban Meyer, UF Head Coach


“Good luck in finding a better safety tandem than Will Hill and Ahmad Black.” (7/28/10)

Chris Low,


"He looks the best on the whole defense to me. He's playing the best. Me and [Brandon] Spikes were talking about it." (8/28/09)

Joe Haden, former UF Cornerback, current member of the Cleveland Browns


"He's doing what really quality players do. He's playing hard and finishing. A dramatic difference between now and a year ago. ... We have to get him on the field." (8/28/09)

Chuck Heater, UF Safeties Coach


"He (Coach Meyer) told me you're going to graduate from the University of Florida, you're going to win championships and then if you're good enough you can go to the (NFL). I like those odds, so I chose Florida." (8/21/08)

Will Hill, UF safety


"He came at me and told me the truth, the straight truth and nothing but the truth. He continues to do that. At first you say he's probably just telling me this, telling me that, but once you get here it's not like he changes and tells you now it's this. He's been telling me the same thing since Day 1." (8/21/08)

Will Hill, UF safety


“Will Hill was one of the very highly recruited guys out of high school. He’s on campus. I look forward to watching him play. I hear good things from our strength staff about what kind of work ethic he has.” (7/23/08)

Urban Meyer, UF Head Coach


“He's dodged bullets, literally and figuratively.  This could be the best thing for him. He just needs to get away from where he grew up and be on his own."

Rich Hansen, Hill's coach at St. Peter's Prep in Jersey City


“Secondary was a huge priority and UF head coach Urban Meyer is bringing in the nation's top safety in Will Hill. Hill has fantastic range and will light you up. He should make an immediate impact at free safety in Gainesville.” (2/5/08)

Jamie Newberg,


“He’s more athletic than (Florida State sophomore) Myron Rolle. Hill is more physical but he’s not as physically ready. He’s super athletic, closes really well and he’s able to stick his nose in there in run support. He’s going to be a physical kid. He’s talented enough where if they wanted him on offense he could play there but Florida is not struggling to recruit athletes on offense. It’s not necessary. To my knowledge they haven’t talked to him about it. He could be their backup quarterback in goal-line situations if they need him to be.”

Mike Farrell, Recruiting Analyst


"Hill is very explosive with the ball in his hands and an exceptional kick returner. Hill has very good speed and vision. He has great hips and can change directions well. Defensively, he shows great anticipation, can support the run and shows great range."

Jamie Newburg,

"Will Hill is a devastating talent and is arguably the best prospect in this year's class, regardless of position. He shows tremendous quickness, elusiveness and burst for a 6-3, 205-pounder. He plays with great intensity and toughness, which is what I like about him the best: he is a pure football player, an electrifying game breaker. He will immediately impact the Gators as a punt returner and special team’s player in my opinion. Hill has got the athletic ability and temperament to help the Gators immediately in the secondary as well, unless they choose to hold him back there and go with more experience early on. Once Hill develops his coverage skills at the collegiate level, he will be a force to be reckoned with for all offenses."
Allen Wallace,

"Besides the fact that Will Hill is a phenomenal athlete, he is versatile. He is the type of player who could play multiple positions on either side of the ball. As a safety, he is essentially the quarterbacks of the defense making sure the schemes are run correctly and that everyone is where they should be."
Bob Lichtenfels,

"Will Hill is a flat out special kind of football player. Exceptional football IQ and very savvy. Great leader on and off the field and extremely physical. Will has strong safety size with cover corner skill. Truly a unique player."
Rich Hansen, St. Peters Preparatory High School Coach


“Obviously when you see him, he jumps off film because of his offensive production, but he’s a tremendous safety. Tremendous.”

Rich Hansen, St. Peters Preparatory High School Coach

"The thing that jumps out at you about Will Hill is his incredible combination of size and speed. He could probably play wide receiver or running back. He's also a dynamic kick returner with moves and acceleration you don't see in many guys his size. As a big (6-3) safety, he would give Florida a potential Louis Oliver-type.”

Larry Vettel,


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