Senior Bowl: Interview with 2021 NFL Draft RB Kylin Hill

Jan 26, 2021; Mobile, Alabama, USA; American running back Kylin Hill of Mississippi State (20) runs the ball during National team practice during the 2021 Senior Bowl week. Mandatory Credit: Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 26, 2021; Mobile, Alabama, USA; American running back Kylin Hill of Mississippi State (20) runs the ball during National team practice during the 2021 Senior Bowl week. Mandatory Credit: Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports /
Kylin Hill
Kylin Hill. Mandatory Credit: Bryan Lynn-USA TODAY Sports /

The 2021 Senior Bowl wrapped up last Saturday with the all-star game and, fortunately With the First Pick had media credentials to access the film and prospects of this all-important week-long event. Felix Davila was able to have an exclusive interview with one such prospect in dynamic Mississippi State running back Kylin Hill.

Hill was a talented blue chip player right out of high school and made his impact felt immediately upon suiting up for Mississippi State University. Over the course of his career, he would accumulate 3,166 total yards from scrimmage and 22 total touchdowns. Hill showcased that his overall game is incredibly balanced, featuring excellent ability as a runner, pass blocker and consistency as a receiving threat. Through his four years, Hill proved he can be a three-down NFL back.

Most impressive of Hill’s college career, though, was the positive influence he made off the field, igniting the movement to change the Mississippi state flag. In an unprecedented scene, the last state to feature the Confederate battle flag on its own state flag removed it thanks, in part, to Hill’s demand it be changed. For the first time since 1894, a different flag flies over the Mississippi capitol.

Having eyes toward his professional career now that he’s already accomplished more than many college athletes dream of, Kylin Hill impressed all week, named top running back by the linebacker and safety group. He reflected on his experience with confidence and shared an excitement to be on the stage with his fellow draft prospects as he takes the next step.

Felix Davila: So Kylin Hill, how has the week been going? How do you feel physically and about the experience in Mobile so far?

Kylin Hill: I feel good. It feels really good getting back in the pads. It’s been a while, so I feel like I’ve got my rhythm back and everything and it’s been really smooth out here. 

FD: How do you feel about your performance on the field so far? Feeling good?

KH: Yea, I feel very confident with how I’ve performed, especially in pass blocking. You know, that’s a big key especially for running backs. We need to show scouts that we can protect the quarterback so I feel like I did that very well. 

FD: This running back group, including yourself, is really talented at the Senior Bowl. Have you been able to pick each other’s brains, and how has it been to compete on the field at the same time while also experiencing this together?

KH: Yea, it’s been a really good experience overall. We’ve been doing well competing against each other and coaching one another. If I mess up, then they’ll tell me something, they’ll correct me. If I see them do something wrong, I’ll correct them or give them a little knowledge or something to help. So it’s just been really good communication with everybody. 

FD: Everyone’s been talking about the one-on-ones, who on defense would you say, so far, you’ve enjoyed the taking on the most in those drills?

KH: Definitely KJ Britt. 

FD: Have you been able to work with any teams in particular? Any team reps, coaches or scouts you’ve interacted with?

KH: Yea, we’ve actually met with all 32 teams. Did interviews and everything, you know. But besides my position coach, I’ve been talking to a few people here and there so far. It’s been a really great experience. 

FD: When thinking about your skillset and traits outside of just the game, like intangibles, what do you feel like you bring most to a team?

KH: Basically I can give a team the ground and pound game, you know. Or I can line up out wide like a mismatch against a linebacker, helping create mismatches that would be deadly for a game plan. But I also feel like I contribute with my attitude toward the game and how I approach the game. I go hard on every play and I try to pick guys up to keep the team going forward really smooth. 

FD: You’ll obviously be happy with wherever you’re drafted but, on that note, what environment do you look or hope to land in?

KH: Just an environment that I come into where everyone loves to practice, loves the game. Everyone is having fun, going hard at the same time. Just having that overall passion for football. 

FD: Speaking of passion, how long have you loved the game? When did you feel you loved football? Since a kid?

KH: Oh yes, definitely. I started out playing football at 8 years old. I ran my first touchdown and then I saw how everyone on the sideline reacted, cheering and happy. The feeling I had inside was something I knew I wanted and needed to feel all the time and I wanted to have plenty of opportunities to experience it. 

FD: Talking passions, let’s go off the field for a moment if you don’t mind. The spotlight was on you for a while in regards to the Mississippi state flag change. Reflecting, is that your proudest moment from your time in college?

KH: Definitely, it has to be. Especially being from Mississippi, the state flag changing is a big spotlight. It’s a big sunrise for our state. The flag has been lingering and hovering over our heads for the longest, even before my generation. So for me to do something like that at just 22, it’s definitely a major accomplishment in my life. 

FD: Absolutely, no one can take that from you. Jumping off of that, is that something that’s close to you, being able to give back, making statements that matter and influencing positive change?

KH: Yea, of course. Especially being from Mississippi, and with my hometown being down the road from Mississippi State itself, it meant a lot, so when the flag situation went down and I came home, it was basically all love. My mom was proud of me, everyone was proud of me. It was a wonderful experience and a wonderful feeling to know I did that.

FD: Before I let you go, back to football: Who is a player that you try to model your game after?

KH: Got to be Ezekiel Elliott and Alvin Kamara.

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