Bobby Hill is in all-around Texas boy. He has the slight accent, a love of hunting and is not afraid to admit he cheers for the Cowboys. He also isn’t afraid of a little hard work and knows that is what will lead to success. “Hard work will get you places. It took a lot of work just to get to this point,” said Hill, a native of Southlake, Texas. That hard work is what got him to Utah State. Though he played football all growing up, the offensive lineman wasn’t a starter on his high school team until his senior year. Texas high school football is a big deal, and Southlake Carroll High School was a successful big deal. In the time Hill played there, the team had three consecutive 16-0 seasons and three state 5A titles. Because of Hill’s late success, playing at the Division I level wasn’t looking like a likely possibility. However, he worked hard, and caught the eye of former head coach Brent Guy. Hill remembers the day he got the phone call from Coach Guy to talk about the possibility of being recruited. “My phone had this area code detection feature so when it rang, I looked down and saw the words Logan, Utah,” Hill said. “My first thought was, there’s no way I’m going to school in Utah, but in the end, I knew it was the right place for me.” Coming in to USU, he knew it was a football program that was going to be on the rise. And that’s exactly what he wanted. “It was a good program that was on the rise,” Hill said. “I knew it would be a lot of work. But I looked forward to that, and I wanted to be a part of an up-and-coming program.” The hard work has continued throughout the five years Hill has been at Utah State. Every season comes with coaching changes and new teammates, requiring working to learn the new ways of doing things. After the 2008-09 season, the majority of the coaching staff was replaced, bringing in Gary Andersen. The new staff brought in a new attitude about Utah State football for both the fans and the players. That new attitude encouraged even more hard work for Hill. “When we changed coaches, there were a lot of guys who didn’t make it. A lot of the guys couldn’t meet the higher standard. It took a lot to stick it through,” Hill said. “It isn’t always fun, especially when times are tough, but if you stick with it; it will be worth it.” Hill describes the difference between coaching staffs to be “night and day.” There have been a lot of changes, but they have all been for the good and benefit of the team. “Everything across the board has just been better,” Hill said. “The players are better, the coaching is better, even the food at the Junction during camp is better. It’s been a huge change.” Even in the time since Andersen’s arrival, things have changed and improved drastically. “There are so few of us left who know how it used to be,” Hill said. “It’s something special to see how much better things have gotten, even in the years since Coach Andersen got here to now.” Hill has done an excellent job of “sticking through it.” He spent his first year in Logan as a redshirt and then saw action in nine games in 2008. In the 2009 season, he played in all 12 games, starting 11 of them. Then, like so many of his teammates, he was hit with an injury early in the 2010 season, leaving him on the sidelines for the majority of the year. He is back with a vengeance, ready to continue working hard. With his veteran experience and versatility on the offensive line, he should have a good season ahead. “It’s been hard work, a lot of work. But it’s been a lot of fun,” Hill said. “You work hard all year, then get just a couple of weeks to go home before you work all summer, fall camp, then the season starts and you do it all over again.” To Hill, hard work defines what it means to be an Aggie. “It means so much,” Hill said. “When I first got here I just thought “Oh whatever, I’ll go to school in Utah, but it will never really be a part of me. I’m not Mormon either, so I didn’t think Utah State would grow on me the way it has. It means a lot of hard work; it means a lot of fun; it means a lot of things.” Hill has grown to love Utah State and knows it will be a part of him for the rest of his life. After he graduates in May a degree in interdisciplinary studies, he plans to move back home to Texas. With Texas State, University of Texas-Arlington and UTSA all set to join the Western Athletic Conference next year, he plans to go to every game the Aggies are a part of in his home state. “I’ve grown to love this program and I’ll follow it forever,” Hill said.
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