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September 6, 2012

Hill adjusting to second year on offense

On offense, defense, or special teams, junior Jon Hill always keeps the same attitude.

"You've got to play to win. There's no other attitude you can have," he said.

Hill, a 6-foot-4, 275 pound defensive end-turned-tackle-turned-guard, hails from Lake Orion, Michigan. Hill came to Robert Morris University as a defensive end and made the transition to the offensive side of the ball last season, even starting a few games at right tackle at the beginning of the season. Going into the off-season, Hill said he knew he was going to play right guard and likes the position thus far.

"I like guard more. I like pulling, I'm a little bit faster so it's fun to get around the edge and hit somebody," he said.

Hill said that in order to better prepare for the transition to guard, he worked more on his footwork this off-season.

"It's a lot more footwork playing guard and the footwork itself is different, so I focused a lot on that."

Hill said that playing on the defensive side of the ball has helped him in a few ways. He said that there are times that he can look at a defensive end and will have an idea on what he is going to do because "he's been there."

Also, Hill said that having the speed of a defensive end is his biggest strength because a guard has to be fast in order to pull, especially in this offense. Of course with the positives come the negatives. Hill feels he needs to work on his pass protection and pointed out that the change of technique is a process.

"At defensive end, you're coming off the ball hard and going after someone. With the offensive line, you're just working for the running back," he said.

Hill said that offensive tackles A.J Dalton and Nate Hargraves, his best friends on the team, have been his biggest influences with picking up a new position and learning the responsibilities of a new position. Not only is Hill confident in his own abilities, but also said that they've got two "great" quarterbacks and the unit as a whole has to give them time because they can "pick apart a defense, when given the time."

Big picture, Hill knows what he wants.

"We want the NEC," he said. "That's what we want and that's always our goal."

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