Take a Knee: Defensive back Troy Hill uses suspension from last season as motivation

Redshirt senior Troy Hill laughs while being interviewed after practice on Friday, April 4, 2014. (Jonathan Hawthorne/Emerald)

Redshirt senior Troy Hill laughs while being interviewed after practice on Friday, April 4, 2014. (Jonathan Hawthorne/Emerald)

Posted by Justin Wise on Friday, Apr. 4 at 1:04 pm.

Redshirt Senior Troy Hill was suspended indefinitely — missing Oregon’s final games against Oregon State and Texas in the Alamo Bowl – after being arrested by the Eugene Police for menacing and fourth-degree assault, including strangulation allegations on Dec. 13. On Jan. 31, he would plead guilty to menacing with a court sentencing that included 36 months of probation, $200 in fines, and 70 hours of community service. However, because of a behavioral contract, Hill was reinstated for team activities and completed his first week of spring football with the rest of his teammates Friday. Hill fully understands the implications that ensued because of his mistake.

Now in his final year at Oregon, the Youngstown, Ohio native is trying to prove to the entire program that the incident does not reflect his character. He took some time to speak with Emerald following Friday’s practice.

How has this first week gone being back in pads with the team?

“It’s gone pretty good, you know what I’m saying. We have to get better every day, and I feel like it was good to be back out there.”

Especially with the secondary, you guys bring back a core group of guys, what’s the focus point going forward for the group?

“Yeah, it’s that chemistry and just keeping that chemistry and staying on the same page every day, competing, and making each other better. That’s all it is really and just trying to help the young guys and help bring them up, and I just feel like that’s all it’s been really.”

Where have you been working in at?

“I’ve been working in nickel but mainly with the two’s.”

With you being suspended from the team last year, what are you personally trying to prove back here?

“Just that I am not that type of person. Everything that happened off the field, that isn’t really who I am. I just have to come back to earn my spot and keep working every day, and what I really want to do is keep grinding and keep showing that I am not that person; I am a hard worker and just trying to prove myself. With crisis comes opportunity, so I’m going to use that to my advantage as motivation.”

Is that the type of support you have gotten from the rest of the team?

“Yeah for sure. They haven’t been looking down at me about it; they know the deal and everything like that so I just have been using it as motivation.”

Have you received it from the secondary in regards to that situation? Is that a tight knit group?

“We are brotherhood, you know what I’m saying. Everybody gets along with each other, everybody is rooting for each other. It’s a brotherhood so everything will be good. Everyone has everyone’s support.”

What has it been like for you and the rest of the defense this first week under new defensive coordinator Don Pellum?

“I love him as a coach low key. I love him. He brings a different type of attitude as a coach.”

Are you trying to prove your character to him especially?

“It’s to prove to everybody that I’m a dude so I have to keep proving it and going out there working every day.”

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