In two years as a reserve Utah State running back, Joe Hill has logged just 50 career rushes, but coming into the 2013 season, the expectations for the junior are enormous. The last three Aggies to line up at his position, Robert Turbin, Michael Smith and Kerwynn Williams, are now in the pros. With game-breaking speed and an experienced offensive line in front of him, fans and teammates alike believe that Hill could be the next NFL running back to come out of Logan.
1) How does it feel to be nominated for the Doak Walker Award, given to the nation’s best running back, despite not having a lot of game experience?
It’s a blessing. I just want to live up to expectations. I want to continue the blueprint that Turbin, Smith and Kerwynn (Williams) left behind.
2) What were you able to learn from Turbin, Smith and Williams that can help you out on the field?
Basically, just work ethic. You have to work hard. If you want something, you have to work for it and go get it. You have to be patient. Kerwynn was my big brother here. He showed me everything. I understand from him that I have to soak it in and absorb everything they taught me. When it is finally my time, I just have to expose it all to the world.
3) Your teammates have said they expect you to be just as good, if not better, than the NFL running backs that came before you. How do you feel about those expectations?
It feels great that they believe in me like that. They can read my body language and just know how much I care about this program and how serious I am about it. I don’t want to let them down. I just want to work hard and be their wing man.
4) What are your individual goals this year?3 comments on this story
I want to be the best I can be. I want to be the best running back in the conference, in the nation, everything. I just want to strive for the biggest goals I can set for myself.
5) Utah State is getting Top 25 votes in the preseason. How does it feel to see the program elevated to that level?
It means a lot to me. When I first got here, the atmosphere was completely different, the want-to from guys and everything. We just want to keep it going. We know we have to go out there with a chip on our shoulder every game and prove that we can compete. It’s all about what you do on Saturday. The work starts right after the bowl game, and it all shows up Saturdays.
Kraig Williams is a 2010 Utah State University graduate and regular Deseret News sports blogger. He can be followed on Twitter @DesNewsKraig.