“Jumping up and down.”
That was how Trey Hill described the response of Georgia’s coaches upon hearing he had officially committed to becoming a Bulldog.
While that may not have been so much literal as what was going on internally – although both are within the realm of possibility – it was certainly a far cry from what Auburn’s coaches were feeling. The Tigers, the Houston County High School student-athlete explained during the team’s banquet Monday night, having just as much of a shot at being his first choice.
“It was tough,” he said. “I didn’t really know for a few days I wanted to go there (versus Auburn).” In fact, “I didn’t really know until last night. I prayed about it, and I think I made the right decision.”
Hill further explained that originally the field had been narrowed down to Georgia, Auburn, Florida and Florida State – not necessarily in that order. Then it became the two.
“It was very hard,” he repeated, “I mean, Auburn, they’ve been recruiting me since ninth grade. I mean I’ve been going down there since ninth grade (Auburn’s website has it at ‘six or seven times’ heading into the 2017 season). Everything was just narrowed down to where I want to go, what I want to do and what feels like home to me.”
The last – although the Tigers ranked very high as well, he said – was one of the areas Georgia eventually got the nod. The coaching staff also played a “critical” role in his decision, he said. (Note: It also didn’t hurt that former teammate Jake Fromm went there, and the two talked pretty much “every other day” about it.)
Said Houston County Head Coach Ryan Crawford of his “versatile” 6-foot-4, 330-pound offensive guard, who a few months back was named to the U.S. Army All-American squad: “As an offensive lineman at any level, all the way up to the pros,” he said. “Guys have got to be able to do a lot of things, and that’s what Trey can do. Play right side, play left side. He’ll play interior for those guys, but his knowledge of the game, being smart outside of football and on the field, I think really helps him.”
He also praised Hill’s “loyalty. I think that means a lot, Crawford said. “Because we had a lot of kids who hadn’t played a lot and the region we play in, I mean it’s really a tough league.
“And to see a guy of his caliber to struggle (as part of the Bears’ struggles in the aforementioned region), I think it kind of made it real for the rest of the players. That even a great player can struggle in this league (but) you’ve got to continue to work. It doesn’t matter how good you may have been. You’ve got to continue to work and I think that’s where he kind of stood out and I think these guys behind him see that, and see the success he’s had while working hard.
“So, I think that’s helped the program.”
Depth-wise at Georgia, Hill acknowledged the Bulldogs have brought in some players over the past years he will have to compete with – one they’re losing, he also added. He also said that might be at center or guard.
The bottom line, however: “Everywhere you go, you’ve got to work, so I’m looking forward to going and working my hardest and hopefully can start next year.” (Note: Hill will make his commitment official when the early signing period begins Dec. 20.)