One of the more interesting prospects at the combine is Sammie Lee Hill, a defensive tackle from Stillman College. Hill is big (6-foot-3 plus, 329 pounds) and athletic (his vertical jump is 30 inches), and he has the versatility to play in the middle of a 3-4 or 4-3 scheme.
Keep an eye on this kid. He could end up as a surprise middle-round pick.
Hill’s background is interesting. His mother is a minister and caterer, his father a retired coal miner. Hill readily admits that he sees the NFL as an opportunity to avoid working in a coal mine and to provide for his family.
The answer to your first obvious question about Hill is that Stillman College is a Division II school in Tuscaloosa, Ala., about a mile from the University of Alabama (the Jaguars signed former Stillman College DB Brian Witherspoon as an undrafted free agent last year).
The answer to your second obvious question about Hill is, no, the Crimson Tide never showed any interest in him. No college besides Stillman pursued him for football, and the only reason Hill ended up there was because his high school defensive coordinator repeatedly called the school on Hill’s behalf. He did draw a little interest as a potential collegiate baseball prospect after batting .506 as a junior catcher and first baseman “about a good 45 pounds ago.”
Hill told me he lost his desire to play baseball after slumping badly as a hitter in his senior year.
“I couldn’t see a beach ball if they threw it down there 2 miles an hour,” he said with a laugh.
– Vic Carucci