Nebraska Football: Tommi Hill making immediate impression in CB battle
football Edit

Tommi Hill making immediate impression in CB battle

One of the most significant voids Nebraska is trying to fill on its defense this offseason is the No. 1 cornerback spot previously held by Cam Taylor-Britt.

The former three-year starter and All-Big Ten selection has been devoting most of his focus lately toward preparing for the upcoming NFL Draft. Still, he’s also kept an eye on the competition to fill his shoes back in Lincoln.

While participating in NU’s Pro Day last month, Taylor-Britt said one name continued to come up in those discussions - Tommi Hill.

“I’ve heard this name a lot: Tommi,” Taylor-Britt said. “Hopefully, he’s rocking the (number) five real good right now. I might have to take it off of him if he don’t hold up.”

Arizona State transfer Tommi Hill has emerged as one of the leading candidates in Nebraska's cornerback competition this spring.
Arizona State transfer Tommi Hill has emerged as one of the leading candidates in Nebraska's cornerback competition this spring. (Nebraska Athletics)

Taylor-Britt certainly isn’t the only one who’s taken notice of the sophomore transfer from Arizona State.

The 6-foot, 205-pound former four-star out of Orlando (Fla.) Edgewater caught everyone’s attention when he first arrived in Lincoln in January with his talent on the field, work ethic, and natural leadership.

In fact, along with competing to replace Taylor-Britt as one of Nebraska’s starting corners this season, Hill has set another an equally-large goal for himself.

“To be a captain,” Hill said. “When I came here, I promised myself - because, at Arizona State, I wasn’t really being a captain, I was just following. Now I want to do the leading and raise this team to their standards, and those standards are very high. I think I can help set that.”

Hill committed to Arizona State over a slew of elite-level offers - including Nebraska - and played in 11 games last year as a true freshman, finishing with nine total tackles.

He had numerous other high-profile options when he entered the transfer portal after the season. But the Huskers immediately vaulted to the top of his list because of his longstanding relationship with defensive backs coach Travis Fisher.

"Deep down inside, I lost him the first time, so I was like, if I get a chance the second time, I have to win this one," Fisher said of his recruitment of Hill. "I think Tommi mentioned to me when he first got here ... 'Hey, Coach, I should have come here the first time...' He's fired up, man. He was fired up to touch the field."

Hill learned a lot from his first round of the recruiting process and his first college season. One of the most valuable lessons was the reminder of how important loyalty was for him on and off the field.

“The only thing I was looking for in a new school was loyalty,” Hill said. “Loyalty goes a long way. Loyalty is everything. All anybody can ask for is loyalty. That’s a big thing for me. If it ain’t loyalty, I don’t need it. I knew the coaching staff here had loyalty.”

That’s why his bond with Fisher played such a critical role in Hill bringing his talents to Lincoln.

“I speak to him as a mentor and a coach at the same time,” Hill said of Fisher. “All of the other DBs told me when they needed something, he’s got them. Everybody knows Coach Fish has got their back on the DB side. A mentor is a big thing in college football right now, and having a mentor like that as your coach, that’s a good thing for me.”

Hill was recruited primarily as a cornerback, but he said he’s also comfortable playing the nickel or even safety.

With three seasons of eligibility and a redshirt year at his disposal, time is still on Hill’s side as he transitions to his new home at Nebraska. But at the rate he’s gone so far through winter conditioning and spring practices, he might not have to wait long to get his opportunity.

“It doesn’t matter what I play,” Hill said. “Nickel, safety, corner - when I’m in, I’m going to make plays. Anything that’s going to help the team, I’m willing to do. I’m a team player first.”