STILLWATER — Tyreek Hill once got flagged because he was too fast.
In one of the first games of his career at Garden City Community College in Kansas, Hill took a screen pass about 90 yards to the house. Coach Matt Miller says it felt like he dashed down the field in about two seconds.
And then he kept running, flying straight through the back of the end zone before gradually coming down from his top speed.
An official penalized Hill for excessive celebration.
“Guys, he's like the third-fastest kid in the world,” Miller told the officials at halftime. “It takes him a while to slow that down so he doesn't pull a muscle.”
Miller wasn't embellishing — Hill took bronze in the 200-meter dash at the 2012 World Junior Championships in Barcelona. And that speed helped turn Hill into an electric, all-purpose weapon and one of the most sought-after junior college players in the nation before signing with Oklahoma State last month.
Hill was already expected to make an immediate impact for the Cowboys on offense and special teams in 2014, with receivers Tracy Moore and Charlie Moore and kick returner Justin Gilbert all departing seniors. But with slot receiver/punt returner Josh Stewart declaring for the NFL Draft earlier this week, Hill's in prime shape to get even more involved.
“We've got to find a way to get him the football,” OSU receivers coach Kasey Dunn said, “and get it to him in space and let him do what he does and not over-coach him, because the kid can make a lot of plays on his own.”
At 5-10 and 185 pounds, Hill fits the Stewart mold because of his versatility. And that versatility allows Hill to stretch the field vertically and horizontally.
He played running back, slot receiver and quarterback out of the Wildcat formation for Garden City. At OSU, Dunn expects Hill to get the ball plenty on toss sweep plays and on straight handoffs from the backfield in addition to playing receiver. He'll also be in the mix to return both punts and kicks.
“I like space. I like making people look silly,” Hill told Rivals shortly after committing in September. “I'm all about that. Oklahoma State's offense is good for that.”