Hill powers Ole Miss receivers
By By Will Bardwell/staff writer
November 21, 2003
OXFORD Like someone stuck in a crowded room, Mario Hill seemed to be just another name on a bottomless list of Ole Miss wide receivers.
And despite that, the 6-foot-1, 195-pound sophomore has become a regular in the wide receiver rotation for the 15th-ranked Rebels.
The Meridian native has 12 catches for 165 yards this season, and after playing in nine games as a freshman, cracked the end zone for the first time on Oct. 11 versus Arkansas State. He finished that game with a season-high four catches for 65 yards.
His biggest catch thus far, though, came at Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn on Nov. 8. Trailing the Tigers 10-7 in the second quarter, Hill streaked 15 yards before quarterback Eli Manning hit him for a touchdown pass that put Ole Miss up 14-10.
The Rebels went on to win 24-20 for their sixth straight victory.
Hill credits Ole Miss veterans, including Manning, for the quick development that has made him a reliable target downfield.
Manning said Hill's attitude is what has helped him become so dependable.
Hill said he has also learned a lot from the Rebels' top receiver, senior Chris Collins.
Collins isn't the only one of Hill's fellow receivers who has helped bring him along. Being a member of a deep and diverse receiving corps has been instrumental, Hill said.
That style has helped Hill contribute to what head coach David Cutcliffe calls "the most unselfish group I have been around."
And with No. 3 LSU heading to Oxford on Saturday and a trip to the conference championship in the balance, critical situations are sure to arise. If the ball is thrown his way in one of those situations, Hill said he will be ready.