Last season, teams knew Wyoming was going to run the football with running back Brian Hill.
As a result, opponents stacked with box with eight or nine guys more often than not. Still, Hill ran for a single-season school record of 1,631 yards in 2015.
“I enjoy the attention, and I like the challenge when teams put eight or nine guys in the box,” Hill said. “I would enjoy to see just seven, but to see teams give me that repsct gives me some pride.
“This year, I’m praying for an eight-man box because we have a quarterback that can sling it, and Im excited to see wht he’s going to do.”
Hill is referring to redshirt sophomore quarterback Josh Allen, the clear-cut starter when fall camp begin Monday, Aug. 8.
But until Allen and the rest of the offense proves otherwise, teams will continue to stack the box against the Cowboys.
Hill was one of two players UW brought to Mountain West media days in Las Vegas during the final week of July. Based on what he’s done over his first two years (2,427 yards), he has earned the respect of those around the league.
“I thought he ran hard. He never stops his feet. He was a pretty good blocker, too, I noticed coming off the blitz,” San Diego State senior linebacker Calvin Munson said.
Hill’s blocking and ability to catch the ball out of the backfield are areas where third-year UW coach Craig Bohl would like to see Hill improve on this season. Hill was fourth on the team last season with 20 catches for 132 yards. In 2014 as a true freshman he caught 13 passes for 204 yards.
Hill’s 281 carries last season was the third-most in the MW. San Diego State senior Donnel Pumphrey had 309, but played in two more games than Hill. San Jose State’s Tyler Ervin, who was senior last season, had 294 and he played in one more game than Hill.
Hill said with senior Shaun Wick back from his issues with concussions (Wick played in only four games last season) and the emergence of sophomore Nico Evans, there is a chance Hill may not carry the ball as much this season. If that’s the case, Hill is fine with that.
“I feel like its less pressure on me to stay in the game,” he said. “We have Shaun and Nico behind me, and they’re two runners that are ready to play. Shaun has proven himslef and Nico’s body has changed a lot since he first got here. He’s 205 pound and jacked.
“If they can play more running back, I can try to talk coach Bohl into letting me do kick returns. Hopefully that plan works.”
Who will be UW’s No. 3 back should be one of the more interesting position battles during fall camp.
I plan on having a piece in Sunday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang previewing the start of fall camp, so be sure to check that out. Also log on to wyosports.net with continuing updates on the 2017 UW football recruiting tracker. The Cowboys still have only one known verbal commitment at this point, but more offers are out there.