What has made Rich Rodriguez’s style of offense so exciting over the years is the big play ability that this offense can showcase. In just two games, the Wildcats under Rich Rod have had plenty of big plays. One player who has been at the forefront of many of these, is sophomore wide receiver Austin Hill.
The receiver that received the pre-season attention is senior Dan Buckner and to his credit, he has played very well through two games. But not many expected the diving catches and playmaking ability of Austin Hill.
“Austin is one of the guys that has picked up the system really well,” explained coach Rodriguez. “He knows all four receiver positions and he has played pretty well in practice, but in games he has been even better. I have been really pleased with the way he has played, the way he has caught the ball and how quickly he has picked up the system.”
In the two wins for the Wildcats, Hill has 12 catches for 263 yards and a touchdown. As Rodriguez mentioned, Hill has been used in just about every receiver slot within the offense thus far which has allowed him to learn this new fast paced offense much quicker.
“I was moved around a lot during the summer: outside, inside, back outside a little bit, back inside,” explained Hill. “At first, I didn’t really like it because I expected to be an outside receiver, but it gave me the opportunity to learn every single position. So no matter who goes down or no matter what happens during the game, I can go out and play any position.”
While Hill’s numbers can speak for themselves, Hill credits the play of quarterback Matt Scott early in the season for the Wildcats early success offensively so far this season. And Scott has done an excellent job finding his receivers with about a 67% completion percentage. But Hill deserves some credit as well as he has made some incredible diving catches.
“It is more natural reaction. In practice, I lay out for balls, maybe catch a few, drop a few, and not make it to a couple of others,” Hill explained. “Just practicing laying out during practice has helped me. But in game situations, it is just mostly reaction. If I could run under it, I would run under it, but that gut reaction just tells you that you got to lay out for it.”
Austin Hill and the Wildcats are eyeing a 3-0 start with a matchup with South Carolina State on Saturday at Arizona Stadium.