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June 7, 2012

Mild-mannered OG up for Rivals Challenge

MORE: Five-Star Challenge | Underclassmen Challenge

Dallas Jackson is the National High School Sports Analyst for Rivals. Email him your questions and comments at DallasJ@Yahoo-Inc.com and follow him on Twitter.

It is no surprise that Huntsville (Ala.) offensive guard Grant Hill has moderate goals for himself at the upcoming Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge.

Hill is self-assured, but not a self-promoter. He just wants to be himself at the June 22-24, invitation-only event in south Atlanta.

"I want people to walk away thinking that I am a kid that works hard for what I have," he said. "I am not a loud barker and I am not cocky.

"Playing on the offensive line is an all-gut, no-glory role and I like that. We are not scoring the touchdowns and we are not on the front page of the paper. I like to grind. I like being the foundation of success."

Hill, an Alabama commit, also said that his trip to Lakewood Stadium will be instructive.

"To be successful in anything, you have to dedicate yourself, heart and soul, to getting better," he said. "Anything I can do to get better at that is what I am going to do. So being able to go to the camp and really challenge myself was an easy choice to make."

Part of what the mild-mannered Hill thinks he needs to get in check is his emotions.

"It is a violent game and you have to have aggressive tendencies to play it," he said. "Sometimes I get a little too aggressive and I lose my fundamentals so I want to work on that while I am there and the intensity is high."

With individual drills, one-on-one repetitions against some of the best defensive linemen in the county and a lineman's challenge, there will be plenty of chances to see emotions hit a fevered pitch.

It is in those instances that the 6-foot-6, 300-pound-plus Hill will need to keep himself in check.

"When I get too hyped up, I will lean out and get too aggressive and lose my footwork," he said.

"Being an offensive lineman you have to have stability and you never want to be over-extended or get ahead of yourself."

Stability has been a big part of Hill's life. Being the son of a missile command operator comes with the structure of a miltary family.

"My dad is on military time, my grandfather served and so did a lot of other people in my family," Hill said. "I am not up at zero-five-hundred or anything like that but there is structure.

"It is good to have that around me. I think it helps me in other aspects of my life."

Some of those outside aspects, Hill said, have had to be sacrificed for football.

"Football is a lot of my life," he said. "I don't think I am missing out on too much by being dedicated to getting better. I still think I do a lot of the things that regular kids do, but I think they don't get to do some of the things I get to do. So it is a tradeoff."

His participation in the Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge is one of those things. The event is only open to 80 players from the Class of 2013 and just 20 from the Class of 2014.

The opportunity is not lost on Hill.

"I am excited," he said. "This can only make me better, and for me to keep making steps to where I want to get, this is an event that I am fortunate to be a part of."

Mike Farrell's take

Hill is one of the guys I am most looking forward to seeing along the offensive line. His film is excellent and he has a massive guard body, but he moves well. He could be one of those rare road-grader types who surprise you, but he will certainly have a challenge with the speed rushers. He is a physical and very aggressive kid on film, so I can imagine he will try to put some players into the turf. At 6-foot-6 and 300-plus pounds, he could be one of the most physically imposing kids in the country.



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