On Air Now

Listen Now

Weather

cloudy-day
47°
Sunny
H 49° L 41°
  • cloudy-day
    47°
    Current Conditions
    Sunny. H 49° L 41°
  • clear-day
    48°
    Afternoon
    Sunny. H 49° L 41°
  • clear-night
    40°
    Evening
    Clear. H 49° L 25°
Listen
Pause
Error

Morning show on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

Listen
Pause
Error

Home team on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

Listen
Pause
Error

The crossover

00:00 | 00:00

College
Homegrown: Trey Hill stands tall at the center of the Georgia offense
Close

Homegrown: Trey Hill stands tall at the center of the Georgia offense

Homegrown: Trey Hill stands tall at the center of the Georgia offense

Homegrown: Trey Hill stands tall at the center of the Georgia offense

EDITOR'S NOTE: This original Trey Hill story continues a special series in partnership with Georgia Farm Bureau profiling homegrown talent from the state of Georgia. To access the other HomeGrown Talent articles please visit the series hub on DawgNation.com.

Trey Hill now snaps the ball to Jake Fromm at Georgia.

Close

Homegrown: Trey Hill stands tall at the center of the Georgia offense

That's the picture for 2019 after those two played together for two seasons at Houston County High School in Warner Robins. What are the odds of that?

The same high school program sending two players to Georgia is one thing, but what about the center and the quarterback?

Those are mighty long odds. DawgNation might not grasp that with every snap of the ball. But the man who coached them both during Fromm's senior year and Hill's junior year certainly does.

When Von Lassiter looks at the TV now to check out Georgia, he can't help but smile.

"When I see Trey now I see him doing the things I always knew he could do," Lassiter said. "I see him on the right track to living the life he has always wanted to live. I'm thankful that I can look at one spot on that TV and see two kids that I am very very proud of."

Lassiter is humbled by that sight.

"It is just a blessing from God," he said. "It is a blessing from God that he would see fit to coach this game that I care a lot about and then for him to entrust me with watching over and trying to help out the careers of these players that I have had."

The real head-scratcher is there was only one time when Fromm lined up behind Hill in high school.

A homegrown story that says a lot about Trey Hill

The first time Lassiter ever laid eyes on Hill was at an Academy Sports in Warner Robins. It was just right around the time he was entering high school.

Hill had a Macon County T-shirt on at the time. but it wasn't long before he made the decision to move to Warner Robins and play for Lassiter at Houston County.

"The next time I saw him it was a year later and he was just at the front steps and I had gotten a call that he had just enrolled at Houston County High School," Lassiter said. "He was coming to live with his brother and his brother was going to take him in."

Lassiter, now leading the program at Bleckley County, knew he had a fixture for his offensive line from that moment on. Hill was already right at 6 feet, 3 inches and about 350 pounds even back then.

"Large human being and one of the biggest kids in our school when he walked in, Lassiter said. "We knew from that first day he wanted to be a great football player and had a desire and a passion about it and was in tune with what we were looking for."

He started for three seasons at Houston County. Mostly a tackle for the Bears while Fromm was there. Well, except for that one game.

That takes things down the road of one of the best stories we can share about Hill.

Remember those long odds about the quarterback and center of the nation's third-ranked team playing together at the same time?

They get even longer than going hunting with Fromm and him not choosing to sit in the best "hot spot" for the ideal line of fire for the birds.

Hill was only the center for Fromm for just one high school game. That was also his idea.

It came about because Houston County had to face powerful Lee County during Hill's junior year. Fromm was a senior at the time. It was one of the biggest high school games in Georgia that fall.

Kirby Smart even showed up on the sidelines for that one.

Lee County lined up imposing 5-star DT Aubrey Solomon at the time. Hill saw that, noted that and felt that he needed to do more that week to try to check Solomon.

The coaches had been thinking about it, but it was Hill who suggested it.

"The ultimate motivation to see how much a kid wants to get better and to test himself was when he picks up the phone and tell his coach I want to block the best player on the other team' and do it as a position he had not played the whole year," Lassiter said. "He was telling me then that he wanted to be better and that he was going good but that he could be even better and do more for us. He thought he could block him and he knew our team needed him to line up and block him."

Hill did his job that night. Solomon made a few plays, but he wasn't the reason why Lee County took down Houston County that night.

"Trey doesn't say a whole lot now," Lassiter said. "He doesn't talk a whole lot, too. But he is a business-type player when the lights come on and when it is time to go you want to be behind him. I saw that over and over again with Trey."

Close

Homegrown: Trey Hill stands tall at the center of the Georgia offense

Trey Hill: How he found his way to Georgia

The Hills tried out an organic method for choosing Georgia. There was a clear acceptance he was going to be just fine playing football where ever he wound up.

It meant a lot of the normal things like depth chart and recruiter relationships and power programs were lesser issues.

Georgia had some built-in strong ties. Hill's older brother, Derrick, played football for Valdosta State when Smart was there as a young assistant. Astrong foundation of trust was established during that time.

The Hill family went about talking to the coaches at Georgia. They spoke to the current players on each team about the program. It meant they did the same for schools like Alabama and Auburn, among others.

"They all said he would be taken care of at Georgia," his mother said on the day Trey chose Georgia. "But that was what I already knew from the time when Derrick was with Kirby at Valdosta State. He knew and we knew what kind of person and what kind of a man he was. We knew he would take care of Trey."

The Hills then went on to interview the parents of those players. Those guys on the team would say something nice. But what would their families think?

They took another step. That was scouting out the churches in the potential campus communities for Hill.

"Our family is made up of Christians," Lillie Hill said on the day Trey chose Georgia. "We believe the church to be the leaders and at the heart of every community. We believe if you put God first in everything you do, then everything else will fall into place."

She found a place like that in Athens.

"It was important to me because I wanted him to have a church home," she said. "Someone he could talk to if he was down and we were not around. A place that felt like family and Georgia was that place that felt like family all the way around."

Family is important to Hill. Trey has three brothers and two sisters and three adopted siblings. He's the baby out of all his biological siblings.

"In the end, I didn't think it was close at all between Georgia and all those other schools," she said back in December of 2017. "Georgia just felt like the spot for him to feel like he was with family."

Close

Homegrown: Trey Hill stands tall at the center of the Georgia offense

Another inroad in the recruiting of Trey Hill

Hill also knew former UGA All-American Roquan Smith. Those two even played together during Roquan's senior year and Trey's freshmen year before he moved to Houston County.

"He was like just go to the school that is best for you," Trey Hill said on his commitment day. "He wasn't forcing me or telling me to go to Georgia. All he said was Georgia is a great program and they will get you to where you want and need to be. I took that into consideration but that wasn't a big factor in my decision."

"In the end, I found other ways and I was just glad to be a Bulldog when I make my mind up."

Trey had a stuffed reb bulldog in his crib. He played with that plush toy until he was about two years old. He then began playing football at three years of age.

"I always knew he was my special kid," his mother Lillie Hill also said on the day he committed to Georgia. "I always knew. He was born with a special patch of white hair on his head. I always knew he was my special one. I just regard that as a sign that he is going to be something special."

So far, he's been up to the task.

Hill enrolled early in January of 2018. It gave him a jump on playing early during his true freshman season. He quickly flashed the skills that had him rated as the nation's No. 3 guard on the 247Sports Composite ratings for the 2018 cycle.

He played in every game last fall, including starting the last four at right guard. His biggest moment was when he was thrust into the game as the backup center. That was during a high-stakes on the road against a surging Kentucky team.

Hill stepped in for Lamont Gaillard that afternoon. It now serves as a precursor to his 2019 season. Gaillard had big shoes to fill. He wound up starting the final 42 games of his Georgia career.

While it may seem like the Georgia faithful is quick to pick the slightest of nits with the nation's No. 3 team, there is no outcry about a dropoff at that center spot.

That's a credit to Hill. He even had some advice for anyone else that becomes the big-time recruit.

"Don't believe the hype if it comes your way," Hill said back in December of. 2017. "That hype will work against you staying grounded. Stay grounded. Do what you do. Hype will get you mixed up from making the decision that should just be your decision at the end of the day."

Close

Homegrown: Trey Hill stands tall at the center of the Georgia offense

Homegrown: The next level for Trey Hill at UGA

Hill had a set of clear goals on the day he committed to Georgia.

"I look forward to coming in and working my tail off and starting as a freshman," he said. "Then I hope to keep spending three or four years at Georgia working my tail off and then going to the NFL. Those are my dreams as of right now."

"I've very excited about all of this. This is my next step forward."

Hill was weighing right at 360 pounds when he was at the U.S. Army All-American game in San Antonio. That was his last stop before becoming a Bulldog.

He knew that wasn't going to fulfill that freshmen year goal. He had a clear target set in front of him to reduce that weight down to approximately 330 pounds in order to have a chance to play as a freshman.

Hill did. And then he did.

Smart recently shared his thoughts on what it will take for Hill to keep better at Georgia. He wants all of his players to focus on that "do more" mantra for 2019, but especially big trench guys like Jordan Davis and Hill.

He wants those guys to strain their considerable natural gifts on every rep.

"It means when you strain on a play and you block a guy, I want you to do it longer and harder," Smart said this fall. "So if you do it for four seconds, I want you to do it for five, for six. If you do it for seven, I want you to do it for eight, for nine. I want you to do it until the echo of the whistle. That's harder and longer. That's for every player on the team, not just Trey Hill. Jake Fromm, I want him to strain harder and longer to make it perfect."

Hill has also worked to improve on his snaps.

"He still has high ones in practice," Smart said. "He has thousands of snaps out there. I don't think you can be thousand-for-a thousand. So I think he has to continue to improve on his snaps and the pace of the snaps. But (knocking on wood) he's done a good job so far. And going into the environment he did at Kentucky I thought he did an incredible job. But he continues to grow and get better. He's a guy, he'll tell you, he needs fire and motivation under him because it's come easy to him. He's very talented, he's athletic. But his brother will tell you, both his brothers will tell you, his father will tell you, he needs a fire lit under him to motivate him sometimes. Because he's athletic."

Hill has shown himself more than willing and able to deal with those fires. That goes back to that high school game against Lee County.

Close

Homegrown: Trey Hill stands tall at the center of the Georgia offense

Georgia's Homegrown Talent: The DawgNation series

The post Homegrown: Trey Hill stands tall at the center of the Georgia offense appeared first on DawgNation.

Read More

Georgia Sports News

  • Georgia basketball is going to have to grow up in a hurry if it has any chance of becoming an NCAA tournament team this season. Coach Tom Crean's young squad came apart on the road at Mississippi State on Saturday night, falling 91-59 in a battle of SEC Bulldogs. Crean's concerns about Mississippi State's size and rebounding prowess became a reality. The maroon-and-white clad Bulldogs entered the night as the SEC's top rebounding team. They proceeded to show why, posting a commanding 40-22 advantage on the glass over UGA. 48 of State's 91 points were scored in the paint. Georgia dropped to 11-6 overall and 1-3 in the SEC with the loss, while Coach Ben Howland's team improved to 11-6 and 2-3 in league games. UGA freshman Anthony Edwards got off to a rough start at the so-called 'Hump.' Edwards was held to 3 points in the first half and made only 1 of his first 9 shots. Edwards finished with 19 points on 5-of-16 shooting, including 1-of-8 marksmanship beyond the 3-point line. Georgia, coming off an 80-63 home win over Tennessee, kept things close throughout much of the first half in Starkville. Freshman Toumani Camera scored all 10 of his points in the opening half, including a dunk that made it 32-28. But Mississippi State closed the first half on a 10-3 run to take a 42-31 lead to intermission. Georgia couldn't get any closer than 11 points the remainder of the game. Junior Rayshaun Hammonds, UGA's top interior threat, scored 8 of his 10 points and grabbed 3 of his 4 rebounds in the first half. Hammonds scored just one basket on 1-of-6 shooting and grabbed just one rebound in the 15 minutes he played in the second half. The home team went on a 17-3 run late in the game, stretching the lead out to 30 points with four minutes left. UGA point guard Sahvir Wheeler, who suffered an ankle injury last Wednesday, started and played 21 minutes. Wheeler had 2 points on 1-of-2 shooting, and 1 assist. The Bulldogs return to action at 7 p.m. at Kentucky on Tuesday. DawgNation Georgia Basketball Anthony Edwards puts the squeeze on Tennessee in blowout win Georgia falls in first SEC road game of season at Auburn Anthony Edwards says UGA didn't play tough enough vs. Kentucky Georgia basketball delivers signature Top 10 win at Memphs Freshman Anthony Edwards discloses injury, status Sahvir Wheeler on clutch game-winner, 'been there a ton of times' Tom Izzo on Georgia: 'That was an incredible comeback' Anthony Edwards lights up Michigan State for 37 in 93-85 loss Rayshaun Hammonds wrecks Georgia Tech Anthony Edwards draws standing ovation in opener Georgia freshman already making basketball history The post Mississippi State blasts Georgia in battle of SEC Bulldogs, Anthony Edwards struggles appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS Georgia offensive coordinator Todd Monken has yet to call his first play, but it's safe to say the 53-year-old already knows he's walking into a better situation than a year ago. RELATED: Todd Monken a Statement hire' by Kirby Smart Monken's differences on the Cleveland Browns' staff with first-year coach Freddie Kitchens were well-documented from the onset. Many close to Kitchens have said Monken was not even the head coach's choice for the job. It's no wonder Monken was quoted as referring the Cleveland franchise a 'total mess.' It was an accurate description. Receivers Odell Beckham and Jarvis Landry were a handful. The Myles Garrett helmet swing incidentreached epic proportion. Georgia football is anything but a total mess. Monken arrives in Athens knowing he was Kirby Smart's top choice. Smart hasn't announced it, but it's a good bet Monken will assume the playcalling duties. It's something Monken has said before is important to him. RELATED: Why Todd Monken is a proven OC, and the Smart choice The best-case scenario for Georgia and Monken next season is a national championship. At the very least, a fourth-straight trip to the SEC Championship Game. The Georgia defense is that good. Nine of 11 Sugar Bowl starters return. It was a unit that led the nation in scoring defense and run defense, and finished third in the country in total defense and 8h in pass efficiency defense. Smart will be looking for an offense that makes more explosive plays while maintaining a reliable run game. But the bottom line for Smart was and is offensive efficiency and consistency. If Monken's offense can score 24 points in each game next season, it's hard to project the Bulldogs losing a game. That said, Georgia has its share of challenges on offense. Chief among those hurdles are growing an inexperienced receiving corps, and developing and scheming for a new quarterback. Georgia rising sophomore George Pickens is the key to the receiving corps. He's coming off a Sugar Bowl MVP performance, making 12 catches for 175 yards and a touchdown in the Bulldogs' 26-14 win over Baylor. Pickens, however, was hit with two suspensions his freshman campaign. The first involved an unspecified violation of team rules. The second came by NCAA rule after his well-publicized tangle at Georgia Tech. RELATED: Pickens apologizes to team for costly SEC title game suspension Pickens' growth and development as a person and potential leader will factor into Monken's future game plans where skill position players are concerned. Georgia has other receiver options returning and promising incoming freshmen. But none appear to have the game-changing dynamic Pickens presents. Georgia is also green in the backfield. Zamir White enters spring drills battling Kenny McIntosh for first-team reps. Rising junior James Cook and incoming freshman Kendall Milton have breakout talent. To this point, none of the backs have shown the dynamic game-breaking ability departing back D'Andre Swift flashed his first two seasons. It doesn't mean they won't, but expectations should be kept in check, Swift was special. The ultimate challenge, however, is at quarterback. Wake Forest graduate transfer Jamie Newman is considered the favorite to win the job in spring drills. Newman is coming to Georgia to throw more, and the Bulldogs are excited to have a quarterback who can run and scramble effectively. The two sides will meet somewhere in the middle, with Newman gaining experience in an offense that can transition into the NFL. Georgia also has redshirt junior Stetson Bennett, redshirt freshman D'Wan Mathis and incoming freshman Carson Beck in the quarterback room this spring. The final piece for Monken's success is the fit in the offensive meeting room, and the trust and chemistry he builds with Smart. Unlike Cleveland, Monken will be handed the keys, and he'll be surrounded by an all-star staff that includesJames Coley, Matt Luke and run game coordinator Dell McGee. Georgia football, unlike the NFL's Cleveland Browns, doesn't mess around. Georgia football offseason Kirby Smart lands Air Raid guru Todd Monken LSU DC Dave Aranda reveals UGA offensive game plan Mark Richt gives scout on FSU grad-transfer Tre Mckitty UGA provides status update on James Coley Numbers game: Comparing Jamie Newman to Jake Fromm Bulldogs' safety headed for Ole Miss RELATED: Cade Mays makes stunning Rocky Top Hop Projected starting Georgia lineman returning from injury PODCAST: Brandon Adams discusses Todd Monken addition The post New Georgia OC Todd Monken trades total mess' for championship quest appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS Former Georgia football safety Otis Reese announced on Twitter that he's headed for Ole Miss after entering his name in the NCAA transfer portal two weeks ago. Reese, a 2018 signee, has three years of eligibility remaining. He would have to sit out a season unless granted an NCAA waiver. Reese a 6-foot-3, 210-pounder from Leesburg, Ga., saw action in all 14 games for the No. 4-ranked Bulldogs last season. Most all of Reese's opportunities were on special teams, however, as he finished with just three tackles. It has been a busy offseason of comings and goings by way of transfer for the Bulldogs. Georgia has scored big additions with Wake Forest QB graduate transfer Jamie Newman and Florida State TE grad transfer Tre' Mckitty. Cade Mays has been the biggest departure, shunning a starting spot with the Bulldogs' championship contender to return to his hometown of Knoxville where his father player. RELATED: Cade Mays makes stunning Rocky Top Hop Reese's situation is clearly about playing time and opportunity. Georgia's elite defense was stacked in the secondary last season with Thorpe Award finalist J.R. Reed at one safety position, and rising star Richard LeCounte at the other. Freshman safety Lewis Cine, like Reese a top 100 prospect in high school, won the starting job for the Sugar Bowl when Reed pulled out of bowl preparation with a foot injury. WATCH: Lewis Cine knows his time is coming, putting in the hard work Cine had six tackles in the 26-14 win over Baylor and appeared to be the perfect partner to the playmaking LeCounte. Christopher Smith was also competing for reps at safety during bowl prep New Orleans. Rising sophomore Tyrique Stevenson figures to fit into the mix moving forward. Reese entered his name in the NCAA transfer portal after LeCounte made it public that he planned on returning to the Bulldogs. Reese was ranked the No. 87 player in the nation by the 247Sports composite coming out of Lee County High School. He chose UGA over Alabama, Clemson, LSU and Auburn, among others, per his recruiting profile. Georgia is expected to start offseason conditioning next week with spring drills likely to begin after UGA's spring break. The Bulldogs open next season playing Virginia in Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta on Monday Sept. 7. Even in my darkest times, I have always believed, the light would shine & it's TIME!!! @OleMissFB , @Lane_Kiffin , @CoachCPartridge COMMITTED pic.twitter.com/NkFdvkKxPo O Dog.. (@otisreese13) January 18, 2020 The post Former Georgia football safety Otis Reese announces he's headed for Ole Miss appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS Georgia coach Tom Crean always talks to his team about 'taking what the game gives you,' but on Saturday night at Mississippi State, UGA might need a different approach. Indeed, Crean's young and undersized team will have to take even when the game isn't giving them any breaks or advantages. Coach Ben Howland's maroon-clad Bulldogs lead the SEC in rebounding margin, the very area Crean's vertically challenged canines are most often challenged to measure up. 'I mean, every game we come in here talking about how important the rebounding is and now we're playing the league leader,' said Georgia coach Tom Crean, who has just two players 6-foot-9 or taller. 'That part of it is tough.' Mississippi State features two starters who are even taller, center Abdul Ado (6-11, 255) and power forward Reggie Perry (6-10, 250). The teams tip off at 8:30 p.m. (TV: SEC Network) at the so-called 'Hump.' Officially known as Humphrey Coliseum, Mississippi State's arena which some say resembles a cake from the outside has a smaller, intimate setting similar to Stegeman Coliseum with a capacity of 10,575. Georgia brings an 11-5 overall mark and 1-2 SEC record into the action. Mississippi State is 10-6 and 1-3 in league play. UGA is looking for what would be its first consecutive league wins under Crean, who is now in his second season. Georgia is also looking to play its way into NCAA tournament contention, and it will likely take a .500 record in league play or better for that to happen. It's Crean's first trip to Starkville, and he may be forced to make it without the playing services of Sahvir Wheeler, who fellow freshman Anthony Edwards refers to as 'the heart of the team.' Wheeler suffered an ankle injury in the second half of Georgia's resounding 80-63 blowout win over Tennessee. Crean made it clear on Friday that Wheeler is questionable, having just managed to walk through the Thursday workout. 'You just have to deal with it, and if he can't it is what it is,' Crean said. 'You just go. Right? That's why you try to develop and try to get multi-dimensional versatile guys. Obviously he's a huge factor.' If Wheeler is out, Georgia will rely more heavily on senior graduate transfer Donnell Gresham along with Edwards at the point. Edwards, named a second-team, mid-season All-American by the Sporting News earlier this week, is averaging 19.1 points per game this season, second in the SEC. Georgia, with its size deficiency, will also need another signature performance from 6-9, 245-pound junior Rayshaun Hammonds. Hammonds is averaging 14.1 points and 8.5 rebounds per game, and he's coming off a 21-point, 5-rebound in the win over the Vols. Mississippi State represents UGA's fifth-straight game against teams that played in the NCAA tournament last season. The Bulldogs are 2-2 in the past four, winning on the road against then-No. 9 Memphis 65-62 on Jan. 4 and hammering Tennessee in Athens on Wednesday night. The losses were to No. 13 Kentucky (78-69) and then-No. 5 Auburn (82-60). Last year's home loss to Mississippi State featured one of the most bizarre endings in Stegeman Coliseum history. WATCH: Stuffed bulldog triggers decisive technical foul in UGA home loss A small stuffed bulldog toy was thrown on the court in the final moments, resulting in a technical foul that helps swing the game State's way, 68-67. Georgia had rallied from 17 down to tie the game at 67-67. DawgNation Georgia Basketball Anthony Edwards puts the squeeze on Tennessee in blowout win Georgia falls in first SEC road game of season at Auburn Anthony Edwards says UGA didn't play tough enough vs. Kentucky Georgia basketball delivers signature Top 10 win at Memphs Freshman Anthony Edwards discloses injury, status Sahvir Wheeler on clutch game-winner, 'been there a ton of times' Tom Izzo on Georgia: 'That was an incredible comeback' Anthony Edwards lights up Michigan State for 37 in 93-85 loss Rayshaun Hammonds wrecks Georgia Tech Anthony Edwards draws standing ovation in opener Georgia freshman already making basketball history The post Georgia basketball looks to get over the hump at Mississippi State appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Georgia football is the No. 1 topic every day on DawgNation Daily the daily podcast for Georgia Bulldogs fans. Catch up on everything happening with UGA athletics with host Brandon Adams and the DawgNation experts as they break down the latest Georgia football recruiting news and discuss coach Kirby Smart's quest to return the Bulldogs to the top of the SEC. On episode No. 1,112 (Jan. 17, 2020) of the podcast, Georgia fans can hear a discussion about Georgia's new offensive coordinator Todd Monken. Georgia football podcast: What the Todd Monken hire means for UGA Beginning of the show: News of Todd Monken's hiring broke right as DawgNation Daily began Friday. I'll discuss my thoughts on Monken on the show including how his recent stops as an assistant with the Cleveland Browns, Tampa Bay Bucs and as a head coach at Southern Miss could influence his play calling at UGA. 10-minute mark: DawgNation's Connor Riley joins the show to react in the moment, and I take comments from DawgNation Daily listeners and viewers. 20-minute mark: DawgNation's recruiting insider Jeff Sentell joins the show to react to Monken's hiring and preview a major UGA recruiting weekend including a visit by five-star quarterback Brock Vandagriff. 45-minute mark: I take a look at other SEC headlines including LSU defensive coordinator Dave Aranda leaving the Tigers to become Baylor head coach, more fallout from Odell Beckham Jr.'s dreadful post-national championship celebration and Tennessee hyping former UGA offensive lineman Cade Mays' presence on campus. 50-minute mark: I preview a busy weekend for UGA athletics beyond football. End of show: I share the Gator Hater Updater. The post Georgia football podcast: What the Todd Monken hire means for UGA appeared first on DawgNation.