Pittsburgh QB Perry Hills talks Terps pledge
The Maryland wrestling coaches looked at Perry Hills in January and saw a 189-pounder with ACC potential. Randy Edsall and the Terps football staff checked out the rising senior from Pittsburgh Central Catholic on Saturday and saw their quarterback of the future.
The 6-foot-3 Hills was in College Park this weekend for Maryland’s annual football camp. While the Terps’ wrestling staff sold him on the school, Hills hoped to earn his way to campus on the gridiron. At 6 p.m. on Saturday, after camp had ended, Edsall offered Hills a scholarship. One hour later, Hills accepted.
“I let him know Maryland was my No. 1 school. It’s been my No. 1 school since January,” Hills said Sunday. “He told me we could get this marriage on the road, [and then have] me start recruiting some of my teammates that have been offered by Maryland, too.”
Hills, who threw for 1,580 yards and 10 touchdowns as a junior, also considered offers from Akron, Buffalo, Kent State, Miami of Ohio and Old Dominion. Pittsburgh, Michigan State and West Virginia were also involved in his recruitment.
A two-year varsity football player and all-state wrestler, Hills quarterbacked coach Terry Totten’s Central Catholic squad to the Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League semifinals last fall.
“He’s tough as nails, he’s a leader, he’s a winner [and] he’s tough,” Totten said. “His throwing motion, his size and his strength are just going to continue [improving] through the next year, year and a half. … I mean he’s had certain games, definitely, where he throws and you said, ‘Wow, he’s really on the verge of becoming a big-time kid.’”
Totten called Hills “a dropback guy,” but the future Terp has demonstrated his ability to run the football on a regular basis. At Pittsburgh’s camp a week ago, Hill was clocked at a 4.57 in the 40. At Maryland, he followed that up with a 4.67.
Hills came to Maryland’s camp knowing that a scholarship offer wasn’t a given. Defensive line coach Greg Gattuso told him he was in their top group of prospects, but he would have to do well in front of the staff for them to pull the trigger. The pressure to perform didn’t faze Hills a bit.
“To be a quarterback, you have to deal with pressure,” he said. “You learn how to deal with pressure in wrestling [because] everyone’s eyes are on you on the mat. That helps me a lot dealing with pressure."
Hills said Edsall joked that he planned to “get some champagne” to celebrate the commitment. The newest Terps pledge, however, had a more low-key celebration that consisted of driving back to Pittsburgh with a feeling of satisfaction.
“It feels great to know that you don’t have to worry about the recruiting game anymore, just concentrate on competing at the high school level," Hills said. "I’ll be the hardest worker, hopefully become a great quarterback and hopefully win a national title at Maryland.”