His nickname is Cheetah, but Tyreek Hill wants to be known for a lot more than just his speed. The Kansas City Chiefs lightning-fast wide receiver is entering his fifth season in the NFL. Hill has made the Pro Bowl in each of the last four years, but he’s not satisfied.
Tyreek Hill’s football career
Tyreek Hill played his college football at West Alabama after transferring from Oklahoma State. At West Alabama, Hill showed his versatility as a running back, wide receiver, and kick/punt returner. Hill was selected by the Kansas City Chiefs in the fifth round of the 2016 NFL draft.
The Chiefs took a shot at the 5-foot-10, 185-pound wideout from little-known West Alabama. Hill was the first West Alabama player taken in the NFL draft in 42 years. Hill made an immediate impact with the Chiefs as a wide receiver and a punt/kick returner. He finished his rookie season with 61 receptions and six touchdowns. He made the Pro Bowl as a return specialist.
Hill emerged as a premier wide receiver with the Chiefs, racking up consecutive 1,000-yard seasons beginning in 2017. In 2018, Hill had a career-high 1,478 receiving yards with 12 touchdowns. Last season, he was hampered by injuries and was limited to 12 games but still racked up 860 yards and seven touchdowns. In four years with the Chiefs, Hill has 32 receiving touchdowns and 4,115 yards.
Hill’s troubles off the field
Tyreek Hill was dismissed from the Oklahoma State football team after pleading guilty to domestic assault and battery by strangulation in an incident involving his then-pregnant girlfriend, according to ESPN. In December of 2015, Hill was let go from both the Oklahoma State football and track teams.
Hill had better than 1,800 all-purpose yards for the Cowboys, but was let go after the incident. “He accepted responsibility,” said Hill’s attorney, Jay Husbands told ESPN. “He understands what he did, and he addressed the things that needed to be addressed so he can put this situation behind him.”
In March of 2019, Hill was investigated for alleged battery involving his young son. According to ESPN, an investigation began when authorities were called to Hill’s home twice in March. It was determined that Hill’s son was injured. A recording was released of Hill discussing striking his son during a conversation with his fiancee. The Chiefs initially barred Hill from team activities. In July of 2019, the NFL said they found no evidence of Hill violating the league’s conduct policy and would not be suspended.
Tyreek Hill wants to be a complete player
In an interview during training camp, Tyreek Hill said he doesn’t like being known simply as a fast guy in the NFL. He said he’s trying to shed that label and has been working hard at becoming more of a complete player.
“When I first came into the league, a lot of people was like, ‘Oh, he’s just another fast guy,'” Hill said. “So I took it to heart and thought, ‘I’m going to be different.’ I wanted to be different from any other speedy guy. I wanted to be able to block, to make tough grabs, to be able to run every route on the route tree. I worked my butt off each and every offseason to grow as a player in every aspect of the game.”
For a guy who’s been in the league for four years and has made the Pro Bowl four times, these are scary words. If Hill becomes that great route-runner and blocker, combined with his speed, he could become the NFL’s next elite receiver.
All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference.