Brian Hill, a Belleville West graduate who finished his junior season at Wyoming ranked third in the nation in rushing yards, announced Monday he will skip his senior season in college and enter the NFL Draft.
“This has been a dream of mine for a while now, and through hard work and dedication that dream finally has a chance to become a reality,” Hill said in a statement released to ESPN and other outlets. “I would like to give thanks to God for none of this would be possible without Him. I would like to thank my mom for being here for me through whatever: (Wyoming head coach Craig) Bohl, (running backs coach Mike) Bath and the rest of the coaching staff for believing in me; and my teammates who are all my brothers for life — I couldn’t have chosen a better family.”
Hill made his official decision on his Twitter account:
“After speaking with my family I’ve decided that I’m foregoing my senior season. Thank you for making my college experience great! #GoWyo”
The 6-foot-1, 219-pound junior currently ranks third in the country with 1,860 yards rushing on 349 carries. That includes nine 100-yard rushing games and two with 200 or more yards.
Hill holds Wyoming’s career and single-season records for rushing yards and rushing touchdowns.
“We’re excited for Brian, everybody’s so proud of him,” Belleville West coach Cameron Pettus said. “We talked the last time I was in Wyoming watching him because everybody was asking me about it. I said ‘Whatever you, do we support you.’ We knew all along what a special player he was and now for everybody to see it is great.”
Hill ran for 4,287 yards in his career, including 1,860 yards this season. He will leave Wyoming with a school-record 35 career rushing touchdowns and also holds the single-season rushing mark with 22 TDs.
Before Hill arrived, no Wyoming Cowboys back had ever ran for 3,000 or 4,000 yards. Hill topped both those totals.
“It makes you proud that we were able to coach a kid of that caliber — and he’s just a great kid, too,” Pettus said. “He’s got all the tools. You have to have talent, but he’s also got the determination and hard work. He just does everything the right way and that’s what makes him so special.”
Not all NFL players are born and bred in the Southeastern Conference or other major conferences. Hill comes out of the Mountain West and attracted the attention of pro scouts with his large frame and physical running style.
“He’s a great example for our student athletes, to make sure you take care of your grades and perform at whatever level you’re on,” Pettus said.
Like other NFL Draft prospects, Hill will begin training sessions to prepare for the draft combine and the draft. The draft will be held April 27-29, 2017 in Philadelphia.
Among the other top running back prospects expected to be in the upcoming draft class are LSU’s Leonard Fournette, Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey and Florida State’s Dalvin Cook.
Wyoming was 8-4 this season and lost 24-21 to Brigham Young University in the Poinsettia Bowl.