Best Players You've Never Heard Of: Sammie Lee Hill

Sleepers don't get much "sleepier" than Sammie Lee Hill.  He played his college ball at Stillman- Stillman of West Blocton, Alabama.  Yes Stillman, of the mighty Division II Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference - playing fierce competition like the LeMoyne Owen Magicians, and the Albany State (in Georgia of course) Golden Rams.  He didn't start at a larger school, and transfer down either; Stillman is literally the only school that would give him a football scholarship.  So if he didn't even get recruited, why would he get drafted?  I think he is the perfect candidate to be our next nose tackle- let me explain:

He wasn't even really a football star in high school- he actually made his name playing basketball; and when he graduated high school he weighed a "scrawny" 270 lbs, and the big schools thought that was about where he'd stop. 

Today though?  He comes in at 6'-4" and 330 lbs.  Talk about a late bloomer!  The best part though, he didn't really lose any of his athleticism.  He runs about a 5.0 flat second 40 if you let him tell it, he can leap like MJ, has outstanding strength, and he can make it sideline to sideline on any play.  A guy like his size you are probably thinking he played DT right?  Well, that is probably where we would want him, but he actually played defensive end in school.  Why did they stick him at end instead of tackle?  To sum up his coaches, he simply had too much speed to stick in the middle on a consistent basis. His quick feet and athleticism allow him to drop back in pass coverage, or even save a busted play- check it out, as described by his HC:

"He was the up-back on the PAT team," Thompson said. "We muffed the ball, and the kicker just threw it up blindly. Sammie reached back with his left hand and snagged the ball. Then he ran over two defenders for a two-point conversion."


And of course we want someone with character right?  Hill is the definition of class.  In true southern fashion, he still addresses all of his elders as "Sir" or "Ma'am".  He loves the game of football: it should be obvious given that he was willing to play at Stillman versus taking a basketball scholarship at a more prestigious school, but he also continually works on improving his game and his body.  He definitely seems willing to put in the work necessary to overcome his small school stigma, and get himself on somebody's draft board.  Maybe the thing that most stands out: he and a few teammates literally saved a man from a burning building!  They were just walking by a building, a woman asked them for help- and they ran into the flaming, smoky building and pulled him out.

Being from a Div. II School, he definitely needed to dominate, which as you can see he did:


Sammie Lee Hill, Career
Year GP Tackles Solo TFL Sacks QB Hur. Pass B/U FF
2005 9 39 13 6 3.5 3 0 0
2006 10 41 15 9 2 3 3 0
2007 10 52 29 14 4.5 1 3 4
2008 11 59 32 15.5 7.5 8 14 1


Clearly, by his senior year he was basically living on the other side of the line of scrimmage with all those TFls, Sacks, and QB hurries.  But look at some of those other numbers.  To force 5 fumbles, you have to hit like a truck- or Major Wright.  And the 14 pass break ups is more than some cornerbacks!  Also, not included on my chart- he even had 2 INTs for his career, and that 2 point conversion I mentioned.  You can't ask for much more domination that that.

His downsides?  Of course, not being known as a football player in HS, and then going to a smaller school, he is extremely raw.  At the East-West shrine game, his only real pass rushing move upon arrival was the bull rush.  The good news however?  After a bit of coaching, by the end of the day he was beating his man with a nifty spin move- so you know he is willing to learn.  Unfortunately, he also pulled a hammy in practice and did not get to participate much- though it was a very slight pull and he sat out mostly due to cautiousness, and he has no serious injury history that I can find during his playing career. 



Other than that, there isn't much to dislike.  He was impressive enough to earn a combine invite, so keep an eye out for him.  If he can run under a 5.2 (for perspective, Glenn Dorsey ran a 5.15 and is 3" shorter and 15 lbs lighter), and puts up a decent bench I have heard that his stock could rise as high as round three-though he is currently projected as a 6th rounder.

He is the ideal size to play NT, fast enough to play DE, smart, coachable, and a decent guy to boot?  I'd say go for it maybe even in the third.  I believe someone drafted a kid from Hampton that worked out pretty well  last year with a similar scouting report. . .

I'll leave you all with an interview: any thoughts?


This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of The Phinsider's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of The Phinsider writers or editors.