Anthony Hill out for the Season

State’s hope for a big surprise in 2007 just took a big hit.

It was announced today that All-ACC and NFL-caliber tight end, Anthony Hill will miss the 2007 football season with a knee injury

We talked about this on Monday when rumors started surfacing on the topic but “the administration” wasn’t allowing Pack Pride and The Wolfpacker weren’t allowed to talk about the topic.

(How does that make all of you ‘premium’ subscribers who are spending $99 a year feel about your purchase? Similarly ‘interesting is the sudden deletion of topics and comments from moderators and posters on Monday proclaiming that Hill was fine).

So, where will the Wolfpack turn for help at tight end? The N&O proposes the following:

Without Hill, a 6-6 senior who has 61 career receptions, State might have to start former quarterback Marcus Stone at tight end.

Stone started the final six games of the 2005 season and first three games of N.C. State’s 3-9 season in 2006 at quarterback. He switched to tight end, under former coach Chuck Amato, after Daniel Evans succeeded him at quarterback. Stone caught four passes for 68 yards in 2006.

Sophomore Matt Kushner (6-4, 256 pounds), who is listed third on the preseason depth chart, played in all 12 games in 2006. Kushner started, with Hill, against Akron and Clemson, but did not have a catch.

I don’t have problem with Kushner not catching the ball a lot as long as he can block. I am confident that the Matt Jones-like Marcus Stone has the potential to provide the Wolfpack with a serviceable pass-catching option. But, can Stone take up enough space and block adequately to support what is expected to be a ground-based offensive plan?

Other names that may surface in competition for playing time at tight end could include: (R-Fr) Rashad Phillips, (R-Jr) Frank Fields and incoming freshman George Bryan.

Of course, it would be nice to be able to redshirt the talented Bryan. Perhaps if Hill comes back for the 2008 season, then Bryan could actually take a redshirt in his second year to provide us more depth and scholarship spacing at the position.

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'07 Football General

44 Responses to Anthony Hill out for the Season

  1. Mr O 07/25/2007 at 5:59 PM #

    Great opportunity for Stone to end his career on a high note. However, there is also a ton of pressure on him now. Hopefully our fans won’t rip him a new one if doesn’t make all-ACC. Our fans were tough on Hill even when he made 2nd team all-ACC.

    SFN: The comments about the fans potentially ‘ripping up’ Stone for not making All-ACC are pretty extreme, don’t you think? Fans ACCURATELY pointed out that Anthony Hill dropped an obscene amount of balls last year. I guess that is called criticism. Then again, if Hill would have CAUGHT the scores of easy balls that he dropped then fans would have been praising him. Are the fans not supposed to live in the real world and be honest? The variable isn’t our group of fans…it is the performance of the player.

  2. cornellpackfan 07/25/2007 at 6:01 PM #

    we do have george bryan coming in still don’t we? I know it is usually a lot to expect a freshman to have an impact, but with his frame of 6-6 and 260 lbs. he will fit in nicely at the position. he also caught some balls in high school and was all conference and region i think at the tight end position. surely he will not be the blocking force that a. hill was but i hope that bryan can step up and contribute.

  3. StateFans 07/25/2007 at 6:06 PM #

    ^It would be nice to be able to redshirt Bryan. But, perhaps if Hill comes back for the 2008 season, then Bryan could actually take a redshirt in his second year to provide us more depth and scholarship spacing at the position.

  4. Pack92 07/25/2007 at 6:06 PM #

    George Bryan! I could not think of his name on the other thread. At his size I woulds sure think he could do at least SOME blocking. I am convinced Stone can become a very good catching-the-ball tight end and he’s not a little guy either. One thing about it, we will see how it goes.

  5. gopack968 07/25/2007 at 6:30 PM #

    I am trying to square today’s bad news with this statement posted on the previous Anthony Hill thread:

    The Wolfpacker has the following from the horse’s (O’Brien) mouth:

    “…When asked about the status of senior tight end Anthony Hill, who has been the subject of rumors that he tore his ACL, O’Brien said that the All-ACC candidate was not injured.”

    Did TOB actually say this, and if so, was Hill injured at the time?

    I generally find the Wolfpacker to be an accurate source, though I do not visit their board. Who has the correct answer to this seemingly important question?

  6. StateFans 07/25/2007 at 6:36 PM #


    Yes…BUT…the differentation is going to be in the semantics.

    Look at today’s press release…

    “NC State head football coach Tom O’Brien has announced that senior tight end Anthony Hill underwent reconstructive knee surgery on Wednesday and will be forced to miss the 2007 season.

    During a diagnostic arthroscopic procedure this morning, orthopedic surgeon Mike Fajgenbaum discovered that Hill had a damaged anterior cruciate ligament and went on to perform the reconstruction.

    “Anthony had twisted his knee several weeks ago but tests were inclusive,” said Fajgenbaum. “Until this morning, we were unsure of the extent of the injury.”

    ^ Look at the lengths that the SID went to make sure that you knew that nothing was known until today.

    Oddly, many people OBVIOUSLY expected this news days ahead of today.

    It’s like politics. Also called spin. In many parts of the world it is called lying. But, I guess ‘it depends what the definition of is, is’

  7. VaWolf82 07/25/2007 at 6:36 PM #

    Similarly ‘interesting is the sudden deletion of topics and comments from moderators and posters on Monday proclaiming that Hill was fine.

    Considering how few threads are actually deleted, this was a major flag signaling that something was up. Consider yourself “naive” if this announcement shocked you.

  8. gopack968 07/25/2007 at 7:26 PM #

    Spin is spin. I just didn’t expect it from TOB. He seems more the no answer guy than the spin answer guy.

    Nevertheless, what a rotten break for Anthony Hill.

    Here is to his successful and painless-as-possible recovery!

  9. Sw0rdf1sh 07/25/2007 at 7:51 PM #

    Well, I always click on SFN before my “new” 3month sub to PackPride. I’m not feeling the burn yet, but I am just getting my legs there and seeing how things work.

    This is at once a blow to our O and an Opp for Marcus Stone. I like the Matt Jone reference, and I hope it starts to look like that similarity holds.

    I hope, but will not hold my breath, that Hill will RS and come back next year. I personally believe without another standout year, he might not be able to break out for a good Draft on the next level.

    George will have to step up, and I kind of find that exciting.

  10. LRM 07/25/2007 at 8:25 PM #

    This feels big, kind of like it did with Dunlap. The fact is, we’ll never know just how integral he would have been to this year’s offense, but it sure would’ve been nice to find out.

  11. sf59 07/25/2007 at 8:44 PM #

    Add that J-co tansfer TE to the mix. I still think Bryan will redshirt. Stoney, Kush, And the J-ctransfer will hold it down enough to get by hopefully.

  12. beowolf 07/25/2007 at 9:09 PM #

    You know what would be nice?

    It’d be nice to have a PR outfit at NC State concerned about NC State’s image in the greater sports world instead of trying to paint a smiley face on everything and expect us, the Wolfpack fans, to fall for it.

    I’m so sick of them wondering how to “play” their own fans and spending all their efforts on that endeavor. We should be a team working together to promote NC State. We shouldn’t have to have this tension, and as fans, we shouldn’t have to have the mentality that if it’s coming to us from the AD and SID, it’s probably not true.

  13. redfred2 07/25/2007 at 9:20 PM #

    How can you convince college athletes/kids to sit out a year and redshirt in football, but you can hardly even keep another’s attention on the college game throughout a single season in basketball?

    Where is Dunlap now???

  14. cornellpackfan 07/25/2007 at 9:27 PM #

    what JC tight end are people talking about Jonathan Hannah signed with Florida State this spring not us… George Bryan is the main guy that we should look from the incomers to help with this injury if Stone doesn’t turn out enough to cover this injury

  15. Mr O 07/25/2007 at 10:21 PM #

    SFN: Sorry, but I completely disagree.

    Hill was 2nd team all-ACC last year behind Greg Olsen who was the 31st overall pick in the NFL draft last year and 5th in the conference in receptions.

    He didn’t drop an “obscene” amount of balls or “scores” of passes. With Hill, the few balls he dropped were the only ones people remembered. Lots of players/coaches deserved criticism for last season, but of the players Hill was the absolute last guy that should have been criticized because he was by far our best player.

  16. Mr O 07/25/2007 at 10:23 PM #

    To clarify, Hill was 5th in the conference last year in receptions and obviously 1st on our team both in receptions and yards per game.

  17. JimValvano 07/26/2007 at 12:17 AM #

    It’s not the end of the world, but it’s definitely enough to worry me. Furthermore, we got spurned by Hannah who was really our insurance policy in this situation. For some reason, I thought the Wolfpacker was saying he was locked in to playing for us…even enrolled or something. I guess I thought wrong. I kept looking for his name to be mentioned all spring and in the depth charts, and then the other day I was reading Phil Steele’s College Preview and saw he was at FSU. Now it is a real bummer. I think Stone will be fine for passing downs, but in the running game I’m not sure he’ll have enough bulk to do near the damage we woulda had with Hill. I hope we see Hill back next year.

  18. JimValvano 07/26/2007 at 12:20 AM #

    Oh…and for the record…I always liked Hill and thought he was a good football player. I have a short memory when it comes to players being bad unless they are terrible…in a Jeremy Hyatt in the ACC championship game against Carolina in the last 3 minutes kind of terrible. Then I remember it forever.

  19. RickJ 07/26/2007 at 8:11 AM #

    With the recent transfers and academic casualties to the incoming freshman, I’m counting about 75 scholarship players in the program. This includes the injured (Hill and Phillips). I believe this number was even lower when Amato took over the program and I don’t recall us ever starting a season under him anywhere close to having 85. This just doesn’t seem like a good way to run a program (not implying this is O’Brien’s fault).

    O’Brien first year looks eerily similar to Lowe’s in expectations and player personnel. Let’s hope he can do the same kind of patch job magic as Lowe but I’m afraid numbers can be a lot more important in football. O’Brien may have a different philosophy, but I thing every freshman that can contribute will need to play.

  20. Rick 07/26/2007 at 8:23 AM #

    “It’d be nice to have a PR outfit at NC State concerned about NC State’s image in the greater sports world instead of trying to paint a smiley face on everything and expect us, the Wolfpack fans, to fall for it. ”

    Isn’t this the turth.

    Our admin seems more worried about fleecing and bashing the fans than promoting the Wolfpack name. The PR team’s main goal should be to get the NCSU name out there in a good light. They have failed miseralby at this.

  21. PackPride83 07/26/2007 at 8:33 AM #

    Before everyone gets bent out of shape, yet again, I would remain you that 1) Anthony Hill is a student-athlete, 2) an injury is health-related, 3) there are laws that protect people from having their health information become public…

    Sometimes you have to accept that maybe you don’t have all the facts before you start getting bent out of shape…

    Just my opinion…

  22. RedTerror29 07/26/2007 at 8:48 AM #

    I’m not going to slam TOB and the school for not telling us information they didn’t know. They didn’t know how bad Hill’s injury was until yesterday, so they dodged the question. Not very skillfully, but they weren’t wrong to do it.

  23. haze 07/26/2007 at 9:05 AM #

    I wish Hill a swift recovery and hope that Marcus and Co. will cover admirably.

    However, I’ll also say that I believe TE to be the least important and most easily replaced position within an offense. That is not to say that SOME offenses don’t feature especially talented TE’s, it’s just to say that I’d rather muddle through with a combination of catching/blocking TE’s than live with an unproductive WR or an ailing interior lineman, much less a lousy QB or left tackle. After all, if you REALLY need a great blocker at TE, put in the 2nd string OL with the best hands/feet combination. The pros do this all the time or, rather, a large % of pro TE’s are entirely dedicated to blocking and not catching. If you need pass catching, put in a large WR (rare) or your FB (as if NC State had an FB… maybe not such a good suggestion!). Depth chart LB’s and DE’s are also prime candidates for conversion to TE. Keep in mind that during recruiting both Hill and Bryan were coveted by many of us as TE’s but, possibly more so, as TE’s that could possibly be converted into OT’s during their careers. Point being that OT skills are much harder to come by than are TE skills.

    In closing, because of his position, I just don’t think that Hill’s injury is as damaging to our season as his talent (considerable) would tend to suggest.

  24. Trout 07/26/2007 at 9:09 AM #

    R.J. Armstrong is a Juco transfer that is probably the 3rd string TE now.

  25. scpackman 07/26/2007 at 9:13 AM #

    I’m not sure what all the fuss is about. The tests were inconclusive and the guy actually had to be scoped before they knew for sure his ACL was damaged. He twisted his knee and it turned out worse than what they were hoping for. I’m not sure why you guys feel the need to know everything, especially when there wasn’t anything to report until yesterday other than he had twisted his knee.

    Maybe that was Anthony’s request, probably directly from TOB…sounds alot like Belichick to me. I’m completely fine with it.

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