February 2, 2009

No place like home

Like many other juniors on Saturday, St. Louis (Mo) athlete Marquise Hill made a trip down to Columbia. Hill had made the visit before, but he never received news like this.

"I got there about two, and we checked in with coach Ford and stuff like that," Hill said. "He told me the offer was going to come real soon. I wasn't thinking that it was going to happen yesterday. Coach Pinkel came up to me, and he said he watched the film on me, and he thought I was a good athlete. We sat down and talked for a minute, and I just told him I want to be a Tiger right now."

With that, Missouri had their first commitment of the 2010 class. Although some thought he might follow his cousin Ronnie Wingo Jr., Hill stayed true to the Tigers since day one, and he was rewarded with an offer. So who received the first phone call about the good news?

"I told my big cousin Ronnie Wingo," he said emphatically. "That was the first person I told. He told me that he was happy for me. I thought that maybe that would shake up some things in his mind. But you know, Ronnie is really happy with his decision he made, but he is happy for me too."

Any chance Wingo will change his mind?

"No, I don't really think so," Hill continued. "He said he has been thinking about things, but if it happens, I will be happy. But if he don't, I can't fault him though."

Hill plays a variety of positions in high school, but he said he will definitely be playing wide receiver for the Tigers.

"I am going to be a receiver," he said. "I talked to the coach yesterday before I made the commitment. He said it was my choice, and I could help on any side of the ball. He said he would like me at receiver, and I said let's go with receiver then."

As the 2010 recruiting class starts to take shape, the Missouri native hoping the Tigers are able to grab the best talent, and he plans to help in the process.

"It feels good, and we got to get some more people to come here," the receiver said. "We need more of the 2010 people both in-state and out, so I am going to talk to people and see if I can get them to come out and help. We have a lot of talent in St. Louis in the 2010 class, so I hope a lot of things happen over here."

For now, Hill said he was going to focus on becoming the best athlete he can.

"I am going to be the fastest," the junior said. "I want to get my 40-time to a 4.3, and I want to put some weight on pretty much. I want to push my teammates and get ready for college ball."

Because it is so early in the process, Hill is likely to receive more interest from other schools. So how solid is his commitment?

"I am going to stick with the decision I made," he said. "But like my mom said, she wants me to look at other schools, but she is happy with the choice I made. She said I should take the visits and see how places look, but there is no place like home. Ain't no place like the Missouri Tigers."

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