Following a commercial break during the fourth quarter of the Penn State-Wisconsin game, a clip of Jordan Hill was shown exiting the Blue Bus prior to the game. The massive defensive tackle from Steelton, Pennsylvania could not compose himself as he tearfully stepped off the iconic bus for the final time in his Penn State career. He located his family and wept as they each shared hugs and kind words.
Once the cameras cut back to the action on the field, we saw a very different Jordan Hill. He was a man on fire, refusing to be blocked by one of the top offensive lines in the nation. With the flip of a switch, Hill went from a big teddy bear to a downright violent man ready to inflict pain on anyone who stood between him and his goal of leaving Penn State with one final victory in Beaver Stadium.
Hill began turning heads as soon as he set foot on campus during his freshman year. The staff quickly decided he was ready to play as a true freshman, and he became part of Penn State's always deep defensive line rotation. He earned his first two starts during wins against Michigan and Northwestern his sophomore year. Hill became a full-time starter his junior year and exceeded anyone's wildest expectations. He was constantly making plays, recording 59 tackles, 8 TFL's and 3.5 sacks. However, he did not get the credit deserved thanks to playing in Devon Still's shadow.
Hill was more than ready to step into the spotlight his senior year. If you didn't peg Hill as the best player on either side of the field each week, he was always certainly very close to the top. He harassed opponents all year long, blowing past offensive linemen like they were pee-wee players, stuffing running backs before they could even manage to make it to the line of scrimmage and punishing quarterbacks with hits that probably still haunt their dreams. He capped off his Penn State career with a truly legendary performance against Wisconsin, racking up 8.5 tackles and 2 sacks in the fourth quarter and overtime alone.
Above all else, Hill provided leadership when the program sorely needed it. He never once wavered on his commitment to Penn State, even though he had many suitors making big promises.
Make sure to catch Hill during the Senior Bowl, and on Sundays playing for some fortunate NFL team beginning in September. From all of us at Black Shoe Diaries- thank you for everything, Jordan.