Bulldog bio: Kylin Hill

Mississippi State running back Kylin Hill (8)
Staff Writer

Kylin Hill is likely to enter the 2018 football season considered to be Mississippi State’s backup running back.

However, the Columbus native has no intention of giving second-rate production.

When Hill begins his sophomore season in a few weeks, he’ll do so a more polished version of himself than the guy the Bulldogs saw last year. To be fair, last season was pretty good in its own right. 
Hill averaged 5 yards per carry and scored a pair of touchdowns in his debut season as a Bulldog. He thinks he can do much better now though now that his feet are wet with college football experience.

“When I first touched the field last year, I had to get used to the speed with guys faster than me and guys stronger than me,” Hill said. “Now I’m just so used to it that it feels like football all over again.”

That’s fantastic news for the Bulldogs and not so much for anyone trying to slow down Hill.

Stamp of approval

You don’t have to look far to find someone who believes Hill is a special player.

In fact, the guy that’ll probably be just ahead of Hill on the depth chart - senior running back Aeris Williams – is a firm believer that an already-good Hill has become even more dangerous.

“He has really developed as a player,” Williams said of Hill this spring. “He’s better at everything – blocking, running and with his vision. He explodes through the tackle and stuff like that. He’s going to be a great running back, just like I’ve been telling everyone.”

Probably no one is rooting harder for Hill than Williams. If both guys are productive, that lessens the burden on each other.

Going deep

Hill will be in the midst of a new offensive attack this year, led by first-year Mississippi State head coach Joe Moorhead.

While that created a great amount work for Hill over the last few months as he has learned Moorhead’s style, in the end, Hill is excited for what is to come.

Hill says Moorhead’s playbook is actually easier and less complicated than State’s playbook under former head coach Dan Mullen last year. It also grants Hill and his teammates more chances to deliver big plays.

“The offense is very explosive,” Hill said. “Every play, we’re looking for a one-hit homer and get off the field and come back and do the same thing over and over.”

Did you know?

It has literally been years since a running back of Hill’s caliber has been at Mississippi State.

When Hill joined the Bulldogs prior to the 2017 season, he became MSU’s highest-rated running back signee since Jerious Norwood inked with the program back in 2002.

Hill was ranked as the No. 6 running back in the country out of high school according to 247Sports.com.

Norwood of course went on to have an outstanding Mississippi State career, rushing for 3,222 career yards and scoring 15 touchdowns on the ground. With a better overall team surrounding him, Hill will have a good shot to eclipse Norwood’s production once all is said and done.

Looking ahead

Hill, perhaps more than any other player this spring, seemed thrilled with the offensive style Moorhead has brought to Mississippi State. It’s for good reason.

It has been well-established that Moorhead likes to swing for the fences and go for big yardage when it comes to his play calling. Well, Hill fits right into that as he can be a figurative home-run hitter with his explosiveness and ability to create huge chunk plays. 
Hill’s abilities also make him the perfect compliment to Williams in 2018. Ideally this season, Williams will bruise and batter opposing defenses all day long, wearing them down and leaving Hill and others in better positions to break loose.

(Editor's Note: Leading up to the start of Mississippi State football training camp, the Starkville Daily News will take a look at several of the key pieces for the 2018 Bulldogs. Today, the SDN profiles MSU running back Kylin Hill.)