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Projecting the Future: Alden Hill


Ratings: Rivals 3* No. 48 running back, Scout 3* No. 65 running back, ESPN 2* No. 100 running back, 247 3*. Chose UT over Michigan, Northwestern, UConn, Bowling Green, Boston College, Pittsburgh, Vanderbilt, Virginia, Illinois, Ball State, Buffalo, Iowa.

STRENGTHS: He has punishing size and looks terrific running between the tackles, something UT desperately needs. Though his 40-time numbers don't look impressive, he plays again quality competition and has been noted as having very good football speed, running away from defenders in the open field. Has very good vision, and he is also a mid-term guy which will really help. Coaches saw him at a UT camp and fell in love with him, offering him before a big senior season.

NEEDS WORK: It's hard to work on speed, and though ESPN has his 40-time at over 5, UT timed him in the low 4.6s at their camp. His film certainly indicates that's closer to what he is. Still, he isn't overly fast, and the Vols still don't have a game-breaker at running back. He lost about 10 pounds this season and needs to bulk up again to 225-230. The Vols want him to be a bruising back, and if he winds up not fitting that mold, he can move to fullback.

CREDENTIALS: An incredible junior season got Hill many of his offers. In 2010, he was All-Ohio Associated Press Division III Offensive Player of the Year ... All-Ohio Associated Press Division III First-team ... All-Northeast Inland District Offensive Player of the Year ... All-Northeast Inland District First-team ... Repository All-Stark County Player of the Year ... Repository All-Stark County Player of the Year Division III-IV-V-VI ... Repository All-Stark County First-team ... NBC Player of the Year ... All-NBC First-team ...That season, he rushed for 2,247 yards on 282 attempts for 33 touchdowns, adding two more receiving touchdowns. As a senior, teams keyed on him more but he still finished with 1,409 yards on 185 carries with 16 rushing touchdowns and two more receiving TDs. Finished as Marlington's all-time career rushing leader with 4,745 yards ... Earned All-Ohio Associated Press Division III First-Team honors as a senior ... Akron-Beacon Journal All-Star First Team ... All-Northeastern Buckeye Conference ... All-Stark County honors, Division III ... First-Team Canton Repository Division III ... WHBC All-Stark County Offense Division III ... First-Team Northeast Inland Division III Offense Honors ... Rushed for 1,409 yards with 16 touchdowns in 2011 ... Caught eight passes for 216 yards with two touchdowns

OPTIMISTIC CEILING: The Vols are really hoping Hill has the potential to be a mauler, like a Jacob Hester or Stevan Ridley. He isn't overly fast, and he won't stand out in that regard in the SEC, but UT simply doesn't have anybody who can pound between the tackles, and Hill almost has to be that guy. Worst-case scenario, he will be moved to fullback where he'll be a nice weapon for the Vols there. If Tennessee can land a marquee running back this year, that may not be a bad move for Hill, anyway. Regardless, he should hammer his ways to some carries based on size alone.