Embracing Change (8/25/09)
Solid senior leader for the Owls who started all 12 games at linebacker.
Tied his career-high with eight tackles (seven unassisted) in his final game at Rice Stadium, a 28-23 win over UAB... Also credited with a tackle for loss and broke up a pass... Finished seventh on the team with a career-best Credited with four tackles vs. ECU and broke up a career-best 46 tackles and tied for three passes... Has started all 11 games this season... Partnered with Trey Briggs to start the first nine games, the longest streak by an Owl LB tandem since 2002... Last year the Owls had seven different tandems start at linebacker... Set up the Owls' first touchdown against Houston with his first career interception... Picked up his first sack against Baylor... Credited with seven tackles in the opener against Texas and closed a goal-line stand on the Horns first possession with a tackle for loss fourth down... Forced a fumble along with five tackles vs. North Texas.
Finished sixth on the team with 43 tackles... Ended the year with seven tackles, including his first career sack, against Houston... Credited with a career-high eight tackles vs. UTEP as the Owls held C-USA leading rusher Donald Buckram to just 32 yards on 16 carries in the second half... Credited with four tackles and the Owls' first punt block since 2006 (Terrance Garmon vs. Tulsa) in win over Tulane... Made his first career start at linebacker vs. Navy... Credited with a career-best five tackles against Tulsa... Returned to action against Vanderbilt after missing the Oklahoma State game with an injury... Credted with three tackles, including his first for a loss, and broke up a pass... Credited with three tackles and a forced fumble in the opener at UAB.
Battled through nagging injuries while contributing on both sides of the ball and on special teams ... opened the season recovering from an injury and then was asked to make the switch to linebacker after injuries to Brian Raines and Vernon James against Memphis ... credited with a career-best three tackles against Southern Miss (had his first career 100-yard rushing effort vs. USM as a freshman) ... was credited with three special teams tackles ... forced a fumble and then recovered it on a kickoff vs. North Texas to set up an Owls' touchdown ... returned to running back against Tulane and rushed for 14 yards on three carries.
Led Owl running backs with 321 yards while playing in all 12 games (six starts) ... gained 280 of his yards in conference action and averaged 4.4 per carry against C-USA foes ... ran for an even 100 yards and scored his first career touchdown, covering 54 yards, in his second career start of the season at Southern Miss to start conference play ... scored his second career touchdown against Houston ... ran for 22 yards on seven carries in his collegiate debut for the Owls against Nicholls State ... posted Rice's longest run of the night with an 11-yard burst on his first career attempt ... made his first career start at Texas ... Caught a season-high three passes against UTEP, finishing with 10 on the season.
Lake Dallas High School:
2007 graduate of Lake Dallas High School in Corinth, northwest of Dallas ... two-time, All-District 9-4A selection after topping 1,000 yards as a junior and senior for coach Michael Young ... rushed for 1,412 yards and 26 touchdowns while also catching 27 passes for 512 yards and five scores to earn unanimous all-district honors as a senior ... Lake Dallas reached the regional finals for the first time in school history senior season ... honorable mention all-state pick and a member of the Dallas Morning News area top 100 ... rushed for four touchdowns in a 38-35 playoff win over Mesquite Poteet and fellow Owl signee Taylor Dupree (who also scored four times) ... started at cornerback as a freshman and as a linebacker as a sophomore before moving to offense full-time as a junior ... second-team academic all-state selection ... regional qualifier in both the high jump (6'5") and long jump (22').
Full Name: Justin Michael Hill ... Born: September 9, 1988 at Mesquite ... Parents: Michael Hill, Fred and Cherye Moore (one brother, three sisters)... Rice major: Sociology ... Baker College.