The Texas Longhorns have been very fortunate to have the services of Tony Hills over the last five years. He has excelled on and off the football field and is a proven leader. Although Hills has played his last game in Burnt Orange, his family name will carry on at UT, as his little brother will be carrying the rock for the Longhorns in the near future.
Alief Elsik’s Jeremy Hills was on hand Friday night to watch his brother bring home five different awards at Texas’ annual football banquet. The younger of the two talked about what it meant to see the conclusion of Tony Hills’ illustrious career at UT and his plans to live up to his family name.
“The banquet was real good. I got a chance to watch my brother. He walked away with five different awards, and I was like ‘wow’,” Hills said.
“I love being behind him because it is a challenge. If I was in front of him, as motivated as he was, he would have been surpassed my mark. But me being behind him, I guess you could say just holding our family name, which is very dear to us, is an honor. It’s an honor to come up there and be Tony Hills’ brother. I’m Jeremy Hills. I have that name and I feel like I need to live up to a certain standard. You do this. You don’t do this. You do the right thing. You don’t do the wrong thing even on and off the field. Watching him in his moment to shine, I was just proud to be there to see it in person. I was proud. I was like ‘that’s my brother’ knowing that he does the right thing and gets rewarded for it.”
“As far as living up to what he has done, it’s like a friendly competition. I’m trying to get down there, and in the same way that he dominated that offensive line, I’m trying to dominate my running back position. It’s almost a goal. One of the goals I have is to, if not surpass, uphold that name,” Hills added.
On top of getting to spend time with his brother, Hills also got to hang out with the members of his recruiting class. According to Hills, this group may have already developed a special bond that could pay huge dividends in the future.
“Oh yeah, no doubt,” Hills said when asked if hanging out with the ’08 class was the best part of his visit. “We got down there and we were kickin’ it with each other. It was like everybody hit it off with one another instantly. There were no awkward moments. We were just all down there having a good time, enjoying ourselves and relaxing.”
“Being down there in that kind of atmosphere with your future teammates and your future coaches, your whole future was there with you. I had a real good time,” Hills added
Hills also got a chance to speak with the only non-commit in attendance, Bryce Givens, over the weekend. He was impressed with Givens and would like nothing more than to see the big guy blocking in front of him in the future.
“I got a chance to talk and kick it with Bryce. Not putting any pressure on him, but he knows the right place to come to. He was a real cool dude and I hope that I get the chance to play with him for the next four to five years. He is obviously really coveted. Just him as a person, he is a real cool guy to hang out with. He’s kind of funny. He had me laughing a little bit,” Hills said.
Hills host on the trip was freshman running back Foswhitt Whittaker. The two are from the same general area and had fun catching up with one another.
“My boy Fozzy, Foswhitt Whittaker,” Hills said when asked about his host. “I’ve been knowing Fozzy for the last year or two. We were just hanging out together in a different city. That’s all that was.”
Hills also got to sit down and chat with head coach Mack Brown.
“Me and Coach Brown talked about me as a person first and then as a player,” Hills said. “I had questions and he had all the answers. We just talked about early playing time, what was necessary for it, how it happens here at Texas and how it would happen for me. He gave me direct answers and I always appreciate that. He gave direct answers. There was no sugarcoating anything. From that conversation, I walked away with nothing but a lot more goals for me to reach in the next month. January 14th is when my journey starts. I can get started and get ready to play on the field for the University of Texas.”
Hills was invited to play in several All-Star games, but he will not be able to participate. He is going to extreme lengths to get to Texas early including going to night school through January 13th.
“I have. I’ve gotten letters, mail and phone calls from people who want me to attend,” Hills said when asked if he would participate in any All-Star games. “In order to graduate early, I have been taking night school. My night school runs all the way up until January 13th. Unfortunately, I can’t miss any days of it, so I won’t be able to do anything.”
It’s been some time since Elsik High School made the playoffs, but behind the legs of Hills they were able to reach that goal this year. Hills finished the season with 1,600 yards rushing and 23 touchdowns.
“If nothing else, I can say that I contributed to putting Elsik back on the map as playoff contenders. Unfortunately, we got eliminated in the first round, but hey that happens. But we made it there, and I was proud of that,” Hills said.