When the bell at Dorman High School in Roebuck, South Carolina rang for lunch, Collin Hill would disappear.
After months of going through the recruiting process, Hill narrowed down his college destination to either Marshall, or Colorado State and visited both schools. At first, he was leaning towards committing to Marshall. He loved the team's ability to get the ball out fast and score. It would've been a great fit.
But a visit to Colorado State, "pretty much changed everything," for Hill.
While his friends went off-campus to eat, Hill would venture out to the parking lot. There, he could walk around, be by himself and pray in an attempt to make the most difficult decision of his life.
The first couple days, he felt nothing. But one day, playing for the Rams felt right. Before he could commit, he kept walking around Dorman to ensure his feelings toward Colorado State wasn't a one-day fling.
"I kept praying and praying and I felt like it was really the place for me," Hill said.
Hill became Colorado State's first commitment in the class of 2016 on May 5.
In Hill, the Rams are getting a 6-foot-5, 210 pound All-State quarterback who led Dorman to a 10-3 record as a junior last year. The three-star quarterback passed for 3,304 yards and 31 touchdowns last season – and just four interceptions – all while playing with a high ankle sprain.
Hill talked with Mountain West Connection on Monday about his 4.8 grade point average, how he would scout himself as a quarterback and what players he tries to emulate on the field.
So why did you choose Colorado State?
I knew coach Mike Bobo. Our high school team went to a 7-on-7 tournament when he was at Georgia, so he was kind of recruiting me there. So, he was recruiting me down to Georgia. Once he got the job at Colorado State, he started recruiting me there. I narrowed it down to Marshall and Colorado State and visited both. I thought and prayed about it a lot, and I felt like God wanted me to go to Colorado State, so that’s where I went.
How did it go when you first met coach Bobo?
I was a little nervous because he was one of the first college coaches looking at me, so I got kind of nervous about it. But he was very calm about the whole thing and he really calmed me down. I really, really enjoyed working with him. I knew from then that it would be a good fit for me.
You went off in your junior season. Was that what you were expecting going into the year?
It was a good year. We went 10-3 as a team, but I never set any individual goals. Everything was team-oriented for me. I just wanted to do the best I could for the team and see if we could make it down to state, which we fell a little short of, but it was a very good year for the team and I think I had a pretty good year individually, as well. We had a lot of guys make a lot of plays for us, so in no way was it just me.
You had a 4.8 grade point average last year. Have you always been a smart guy?
I’ve been pretty smart. I work pretty hard and take all honors and AP classes. I’ve always got all ‘A" and that kind of stuff.
How hard was it deciding between Marshall and Colorado State?
It was honestly, by far, the hardest thing I’ve ever been through. I was really, really close to committing to Marshall – I was pretty sure that’s where I wanted to go – and then I took my visit to Colorado State and it pretty much changed everything. Then I didn’t really know what to do. So I just prayed all the time about it and eventually, God was pushing me towards Colorado State and I feel really at peace with that decision. I’m really excited to get out there.
What stuck out with you when you visited Colorado State?
I wasn’t really sure what to expect. I’ve never been out there, but the campus is beautiful, the facilities are really nice and they have a brand new stadium and facilities coming my sophomore year, so I was really excited about that. And I love the staff there…I got to know them pretty well and I just thought it would be a great fit for me.
Was it a relief to be finished with recruiting and know where you’re going?
I wouldn’t say it was a relief, because it’s a honor to be recruited and a blessing to have offers to choose form, but it’s a great feeling to be done with it, to be honest with you. All the pressure was on, everyone is trying to tug on you each way, but finally to say ‘this is where I’m going, this is what I’m doing’ and be over with is a really good feeling.
You’re currently listed as a three-star by numerous outlets. What do you think separates you from five-star quarterbacks?
I try not to pay attention to that stuff. I’ve never really looked at Rivals, or 247, or stuff like that, but I’m not really sure how they do the whole star-system. When I was at Georgia’s camp, I was there with all the five-star and four-star guys, and I’ve seen most of the guys form the Southeast, so I honestly couldn’t tell you how they do all the ratings and stuff, but I try not to worry about it. I try and control the things I can control, which is my effort, my attitude and my focus. I feel like if I do that, God will take care of the rest.
If someone asked you to give a scouting report of yourself, what would you say?
Hmm, I would say tall, handsome (he chuckles)…nah I’m just kidding. I’d probably say I get the ball out quick; I don’t get hit much. I study a lot of film, so I pretty much know everything I’m going to see on Friday. I’m pretty smart with the ball. I’m not like a Nick Marshall, zone-read guy who’s going to take off for 80 yards, but if we need five, I could get five. I’m smart with the ball. My arm strength isn’t incredible, but it’s fine, it’s good.
Is there a certain quarterback that you watch and try to emulate?
My dad went to Michigan, so I’ve always liked Tom Brady. I love watching him play and it was really cool to see him win the Super Bowl again. Probably him and Peyton Manning. I watch those two a lot.
You still going to play basketball for Dorman this year?
I’m not sure. I talked to coach Bobo about it and he would love to have me up there early in January, but I’m still not sure yet. I could, and I have the classes where I could graduate early, but I’m not sure if I will yet or not.
Lastly, what should Rams fans expect from you?
Honestly, it’s whatever is best for the team. I’m going to control what I can control…and they’ll make the best decision for the team and I’m just hear to do what’s best for Colorado State.
Here are Hill's junior season highlights.