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December 5, 2012

Hill excited about Army Bowl invite

MORE: U.S. Army All-American Bowl

Like most players who do their damage in the trenches, Pendleton (S.C.) defensive tackle Michael Hill lets his play on the field do the talking, rather than popping off and becoming the center of attention as a result.

But on Wednesday, Hill had no choice to use his words, rather than his actions to show why he was selected as an Army All-American.

"I'm a very shy person," Hill said after receiving his jersey in a presentation and Pendleton High. "I didn't know we had to give speech but I went out there and gave one. I had never done anything like that before."

While thanking his friends, family, coaches and teammates, Hill said he relished his chance to be in the spotlight and relect on his accomplishments as a high school football player.

"It was beautiful," Hill said. "I never did anything like that, it was amazing. I felt like I was a celebrity."

The 6-foot-3, 315-pound Hill is already a local celebrity after becoming the first player in school history to earn a spot on the Army game roster. His profile is likely to continue to rise after he joins Ohio State next year. Hill committed to the Buckeyes over the summer and said nothing has changed.

"I'm 100 percent committed to Ohio State," Hill said.

Unfortunatly, football fans around the country will have to wait until he suits up for the Buckeys before they can see Hill in action. He suffered a finger injury during the year that required surgery, forcing him to miss the second half of his senior year. The injury won't be healed in time for him to play in San Antonio.

"I'm not going to be able to play and that's disappointing," he said. "But I'm still going to go and spend some time with the guys and hopefully have a good time."

Hill said he's watched past games closely, and knew as a sophomore that he had what it takes to be a part of the game in the future.

"When I was a sophomore I was looking at other guys and realized I was just as good," he said. "I was the same size, with the same speed as some of the best guys out there so I know if I kept working that by the time my senior year came around I would get a shot."

As for the Buckeyes, Hill said he paid close attention to the team's undefeated 2012 season and he can't wait to see how the team follows it up next season.

"Urban Meyer has changed the program," Hill said. "They're right up there with some of the best teams."

Shortly after he committed there were rumors that Hill might change his mind because of the distance from South Carolina to Ohio. But the four-star put those rumors to rest.

"Leaving home is just a part of growing up," he said. "My dad always says, 'you have to be a man one day,' and that day is coming up for me."

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