Austin Hill studied film and dissected his mechanics to ease the pain of a 2013 season lost to a torn left ACL. In the process the Arizona receiver learned he could be a pain in the rear. "I discovered what the coaches have to go through," Hill says with a laugh. "I didn't really understand why they would tell me to run routes certain ways. It opened my eyes to the true reasons I'm doing what I'm doing."
Teammates dubbed him Coach Hill for his unsolicited tips last fall, but now he must heed his own counsel and produce. Arizona has two of its top three receivers back and added transfer wideouts from Texas and Notre Dame. That depth means Hill might not match the 2012 output (81 catches, 1,364 yards, 11 touchdowns) that made him a Biletnikoff Award semifinalist. But the 6'3" 210-pounder is confident in his ability to contribute after he saw on video how he could plant stronger on his cuts and break off routes closer to defenders.
Hill says he "tended to overthink" assignments before and believes his broader understanding of the position has him playing faster. "Wherever they want to put me, I can play," Hill says. "I know I'll get my chance to shine."
CARY EDMONDSON/USA TODAY SPORTS (HILL)