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Madre Hill

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Madre Hill

Madre Hill
Date of birth: (1976-01-02) January 2, 1976 (age 38)
Place of birth: Fort Bragg, North Carolina
Career information
Position(s): Running back
Height: 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Weight: 199 lb (90 kg)
College: Arkansas
NFL Draft: 1999 / Round: 7 / Pick 207
Organizations
As player:
1999–2000
Template:BER season
2001
2002
Cleveland Browns
Berlin Thunder (NFL Europe)
San Diego Chargers
Oakland Raiders
Career highlights and awards
Awards: 1st Team All-SEC (Coaches, Associated Press), 1995
Honors: University of Arkansas All-Decade Team, 1990's
Records: Most rushing touchdowns in a game (6); most rushing yards in a season (1,387) – since broken by DatabaseFootball.com

Madre Hill (born January 2, 1976 in Fort Bragg, North Carolina[1][2]) is a former American football running back, playing last for the Oakland Raiders of the National Football League. Considered one of the greatest running backs to come out of the University of Arkansas, Hill was named 1st Team All-SEC in 1995 and was named to the Razorbacks' All-time team for the 1990s. He formerly held the all-time season rushing record for Arkansas high schools and for the Arkansas Razorbacks.

High school career

Even before Hill reached high school, leagues were instituting rules in order to keep things fair for his opponents.[3][4] In high school, Hill rushed for a then-state record 6,010 yards for Malvern High School and 68 touchdowns. As a senior Hill ran for a state record 2863 yards (broken by Derek Lawson of Nettleton High School in 2006)[5] and led Malvern to a Class AAA State Championship in 1993, running for over 200 yards in the title game. Following his senior year Hill was named Reebok National High School Player of the Year, and was named All-American by USA Today and Blue Chip Illustrated for the second time by each publication. Hill was also a Gatorade Circle of Champions Player of the Year for Arkansas and closed his high school career with 3 All-State and All-District selections.[6]

College career

Hill played collegiately for the Arkansas Razorbacks from 1994–98, missing the 1996 and 1997 seasons due to tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in each knee.[7]

1994 Season

As a freshman, Hill ran for 351 yards on 74 carries (4.7 avg.), and tied a school record with a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown against the LSU Tigers.

1995 Season

In 1995, Hill was named 1st team All-Southeastern Conference (SEC) by the SEC coaches and the Associated press,[8] setting single game school records for rushing attempts (45 against Auburn) and rushing touchdowns (6 against South Carolina) and the school's single season record for rushing attempts (307) and rushing yards (1,387). The season rushing attempts record and rushing yards record have since been broken by Darren McFadden. Hill led the Razorbacks to the SEC Championship Game that season, where they were defeated by Florida 34–3. Hill suffered his first knee injury in that game versus the Gators. The 1995 Hogs finished 8–5 after losing to North Carolina in the Carquest Bowl, without Hill.

1998 Season

In 1998, Hill came back from a two-year absence to finish second on the team with 669 yards rushing and seven touchdowns on 160 carries (4.2 avg.), helping the Razorbacks to a 9–3 record and a first place tie for the SEC West Division title with the Mississippi State Bulldogs, in head coach Houston Nutt's first season (Hill's coach from 1994 through 1997 was Danny Ford). Arkansas would lose to Michigan (led by Tom Brady) in the Florida Citrus Bowl on January 1, 1999.[7]

Hill was named to the Arkansas Razorbacks All-Decade Team for the 1990s, and finished his Razorback career with 2,407 yards rushing, ninth place all-time at the university.[9] Artist Nancy Couch was commissioned by then-athletic director Frank Broyles to paint two Razorback football players running behind a herd of charging razorbacks. For the players Houston Nutt chose Brandon Burlsworth and Madre Hill. The original 8" X 16" oil on canvas painting of Hill running behind Burlsworth currently hangs in the Broyles Athletic Center at the University of Arkansas.[10]

Professional career

Hill was drafted by the Cleveland Browns in the seventh round of the 1999 NFL Draft. Selected with the first pick of the seventh round, Hill was drafted ahead of players such as Chris Akins and future Pro Bowler Donald Driver. Hill played two seasons with the Browns, playing five games as a kick returner in 1999, returning 8 kicks for 137 yards. Hill spent the 2000 season on injured reserve due to a neck injury.[11]

In 2001, Hill played in NFL Europe for the Berlin Thunder, and was the team's leading rusher with 388 yards on 69 carries (5.6 avg.). He also caught 15 passes for 295 yards (19.7 avg.), returned 7 kicks for 98 yards and scored four touchdowns (2 rushing, 2 receiving).[12] The Thunder finished with a 6–4 record and won World Bowl IX that season,[13] with Hill leading the Thunder in rushing with 31 yards on 8 attempts and catching 4 passes for 35 yards.

Hill's performance with the Berlin Thunder earned him a free agent contract with the San Diego Chargers in 2001. He was signed to fill in during LaDainian Tomlinson's holdout,[2] but was released after appearing in three pre-season games once Tomlinson signed with the team.[14] Hill's final professional season was with the Oakland Raiders in 2002, where he was part of the active roster[15] for the Raiders in Super Bowl XXXVII, which they lost to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.[2]

Post-playing career

After playing for the Raiders, Hill returned to the University of Arkansas, where he served as a graduate assistant to head football coach Houston Nutt in 2004. In 2005, Hill was hired by Steve Spurrier at the University of South Carolina as running backs coach.[16] The Gamecocks finished the 2005 season with a 7–5 record and were invited to the Independence Bowl. Hill coached running backs at Florida International University for head coach Don Strock during the 2006 season.[17]

References

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