August 12, 2006

Derrick Hill Getting Ready

Defensive tackle Derrick Hill came to Cal as perhaps the top recruit from the class of 2006.

A few days into his first training camp, he's making strides and is currently slotted as a backup to preseason All-American Brandon Mebane.

That's fitting, since Hill sees himself as the latest in a series of top interior linemen that have made their way to Strawberry Canyon.

"First there was Lorenzo Alexander," said Hill. "Then, Brandon Mebane took his place and now I'm here to take over when Brandon goes. I'm fortunate to be a part of that tradition."

The freshman big man has been showing flashes of dominant play in camp, especially in one-on-ones against the offensive line. He is a wide body with a low center of gravity and he possesses natural strength that will only get better with more work in the weight room. However, he'll probably need to get used to the pace of the college game before getting a chance to make his mark.

"I would have to say the conditioning and the speed of the game here is the biggest thing I need to get used to," said Hill. "Then there is the mental aspect of the game."

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