With better-than-advertised Ollie Ogbu gone, Penn State desperately needs a player who can get into opponents’ backfield and cause them headaches. Look no further than Jordan Hill.
The junior defensive tackle added about 10 pounds in the offseason and now tips the scale at 316, or about 25 more than Ogbu weighed his senior year. Hill might not be as explosive off the ball as Ogbu, but he is definitely capable of getting the job done.
Hill will play the 1-technique DT position, lining up between the center and guard. He’ll be asked to fight through double teams, be wary of pulling linemen and keep Penn State’s linebackers free and clean. And, by the way, make some big plays in the backfield like Ogbu did the past two years.
Hill will benefit from lining up next to Devon Still, but he’s no slouch. Just looking at Hill’s high school film, when he played mostly as a standup linebacker at Steelton High, there’s no shortage of athleticism and quickness from the Class A Player of the Year his senior season. He finds the ball quickly and punishes whomever has it.
Hill showed enough promise to play as a true freshman in 2009, registering 12 tackles, and showed his versatility last season when asked to line up at end when the Lions were decimated by injuries at the position. He finished the season with 36 tackles and two tackles for losses. Ogbu had 8.5 TFLs and if Hill can match that total Penn State will be in good shape on the interior of its D-line this fall.