It was a memorable May 17th for the Class of 2019 at Virginia Tech. All the long nights studying, limited partying and money poured into their degree would culminate in a walk across the stage to collect their diplomas. One by one, students walked across the dimly lit stage to be greeted with a handshake and a piece of paper that symbolizes their accomplishments as underclassmen. In a moment that became a viral sensation — among Hurricanes supporters, at least — a tall figure slowly walked across the small stage and raised both arms above his head to form a U, loud and proud in front of a largely Hokie contingent.
With that symbolic gesture, the next chapter in the football story of Trevon Hill commenced.
But first, how did this recent VT grad end up a Hurricane? Well it dates back to a faithful game last fall that caused reverberations throughout the ACC.
A couple of months before his boisterous display of loyalty to the University of Miami, new head coach Manny Diaz announced that Hill was the latest transfer portal acquisition. The news ended a period where the former Hokie defensive end found himself in limbo.
The causation — or final straw that resulted in Hill’s departure from his home state and subsequent transfer to Miami occurred on September 22nd, 2019.
The Hokies entered halftime tied 14-14 with Old Dominion after giving up a TD pass with seven seconds left in the half. What happened next has been disputed by both sides, but Hill got very animated in the VT locker room, with the coaching staff taking exception. After that final altercation, Hokies’ head coach Justin Fuente informed Hill that he would no longer be a member of the football program. The Hokies wound up losing the game and their best defender in a single afternoon.
Hill dealt with the fallout from that halftime altercation for the remainder of the year as he continued to work towards graduating. The pass rusher determined that another year in the college ranks better suited his needs, opting not to declare early for the 2019 NFL Draft. With time to reflect on the matter, Hill released a statement on his social media account to explain his situation. In a long post, he apologized to his teammates and set the record straight from what was previously reported. Hill explained that, moving forward, “I have decided to learn, and apply what I’ve learned toward positive progression and moving forward. I can admit that I have things to work on and, I will make a daily effort to improve myself as a man, a son, a brother, a friend, and an athlete.”
Virginia Tech’s loss is now Miami’s gain. Considered one of the better pass rush specialists in the country, Hill provides the Canes with an elite pass rusher capable of generating stifling pressure off the edge. Given his prowess as one of the country’s elite edge rushers, it’s almost unfair to the rest of the schools that the Hurricanes are the beneficiary of Hill’s decision to continue his collegiate career.
Hailing from Virginia Beach, Virginia, though born in Norfolk, Hill is the second oldest of four brothers. In his high school days, he was the star at Salem High School. The defensive end was a sheer menace on a given snap: Too fast, and nimble enough to get skinny and slide past blockers. Possessing that relentless motor to pursue a play on the opposite side of scrimmage, Hill was a pass rush prodigy.
Hill paid immediate dividends for the Hokies upon his arrival to Blacksburg. As a freshman, the former three-star prospect compiled 37 tackles, 2.5 sacks, six tackles-for-loss and four QB hurries. It helps explain how the DE established himself as a star on a vaunted VT defense.
What’s in Store in 2019?
Despite being 6’5”, Hill is able to get underneath the opposition’s pads. Ducking under blocks or whizzing by them on his way into the backfield, the DE presents a host of problems for opposing offenses.
Hill spent most of his time in Blacksburg as a standup defensive end. While the Hurricanes have employed the use of DEs in two-point stance in the past, how he handles putting his hand in the turf as a traditional DE will be intriguing this season.
I never was good at Mortal Kombat, mostly because you need to master the combinations to even have a chance. For a combo master such as Hill, gifted with an array of maneuvers and counters, finishing off opponents should be natural for Trevon. He has most of the tools necessary to get by a blocker. Whether it’s a pin and swim, a rip and dip, or a bullrush, each move is performed with excellent execution.
Fundamentally sound in his assignment, while he does have the desire to make a play, he won’t leave a teammate in bind to do so. This is exemplified on film in his ability to contain a player on action that goes away from his side of the field. As much as we praise his ability to get after the passer, Hill is just as vicious attacking runners. With a spin move and shove, he closes ground to put himself back in the picture to make a play. It’s no wonder scouts are eagerly anticipating what he’ll be able to do at Miami this season.
You can make the case that pairing up with DE Jonathan Garvin forms one of the most imposing edge rushing tandems in the country. That’s what UM’s coaching staff had in mind when they approached the former Hokie about joining the Orange and Green. That dream will be a reality in 2019. When Garvin (69 tackles, 7.5 sacks, 20 TFLs) and Hill (94 tackles,11.5 sacks, 20 TFLs) unite to terrorize opponents beginning in August. Considering the talent that Miami has beyond those two with Scott Patchan, Greg Rousseau and some promising freshmen, the Canes could match their 136 TFL mark from a year ago.
THEY DONT KNOW MY PAIN NOR MY STRUGGLE BUT QUICK TO JUDGE ALOT OF PEOPLE TURNED THEY BACKS ON ME, AND ALOT OF PEOPLE PICKED ME UP WITH ALL MY DOWN FALLS BUT THIS IS ME AND THIS MY STRUGGLE/ MY PAIN.— Tre “Savage” Hill (@TreSavage94_) July 18, 2019
COMING SOON! “THE PAIN BEHIND THE MASK”
S/o to @k3v0art With The Visuals pic.twitter.com/PFwhrIVvAB
Hill’s addition to the Hurricanes in 2019 is not a story of being reborn. Perhaps there will be a sense of retribution come October 5th at Hard Rock Stadium. For the record, Hill mentioned that “I’m still confused, and hurt, about why my dismissal was the solution to a problem I sincerely believe could have been talked out.” However, for a man that goes by the Twitter handle Tre “Savage” Hill, he has quickly endeared himself to Miami fans and his teammates. The question we pose is, How can he be stopped when he goes full savage mode this season?
IT’S ALWAYS ABOUT THE U!