Potrykus, at the Journal Sentinel, is reporting PJ Hill will likely declare for the NFL draft.
edit: confirmation that he will declare for the draft.
So? Hill has been very productive for the Badgers, and will leave, whether this year or next, with the 3rd most yards in Badger history, behind Anthony Davis and Ron Dayne. His redshirt-freshman year he was a freshman all-American. So, we should be sad, right? That's the thing, I'm having a hard time getting too upset about this. When Calhoun left, that sucked. Another year with him would've been outstanding (that would've been Hill's redshirt year). Hill? I'm not so sure.
John Clay has really made strides and on talent and running ability, should get the bulk of the carries. I'm sure Hill has a better sense of blocking schemes and such, but towards the end of the year it was more and more evident that wasn't going to be enough to keep Clay out of the backfield. Moreover, Zach Brown's potential remains untapped, and as long as Clay and Hill split carries, Brown is relegated to a passing-down back, which sucks for him. Brown is a strong runner with good speed and more patient reading his blocks than either Clay or Hill (not surprising, it's harder for him to just run guys over since he gives up 30-40 pounds to them). He deserves more carries. Hill leaving opens up that opportunity for him, while kiving Brady Ewing time to develop.
Unlike 2007 and 2008, we are developing depth in the backfield again, at least at the tailback position, so the potential loss of Hill is less damaging than it would've been last season. Frankly, I don't think this will mean a drop in production from the tailbacks.
As for Hill in the NFL? I wonder what he's hearing. What I see is a big, serviceable college back, without top-end speed or great moves, who is pretty durable, but that's all. Badger detractors would call him a "system back" and I'm not sure that's wrong. Is that really what the NFL is looking for? If Darius Walker (three-year starter at Notre Dame, including the tw0 BCS appearances) didn't get drafted, I could see the same thing happening to Hill. I don't know, it just seems like a bad move for Hill. Maybe not so much for the Badgers.
That's probably not very nice, but it's how I see it.
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