OSU football: Tyreek Hill chose Cowboys so he could play football and run track

The sprinter is breaking school records for the track team before he suits up was a wide receiver for the football team.
BY CODY STAVENHAGEN, For The Oklahoman Published: March 11, 2014
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STILLWATER — Tyreek Hill was 3 years old when his grandmother, Virginia, could no longer catch him.

Hill is now 20, and it’s rare anyone catches him.

Virginia and her husband raised Hill, who in January enrolled at Oklahoma State, leaving Garden City (Kan.) Community College.

Whether it’s as a receiver racing toward the end zone or a sprinter going for a record, Hill’s reputation remains centered on one thing — speed.

“When he started playing flag football, he got on that sideline, and ain’t nobody fixin’ to touch him,” Virginia Hill said. “Tyreek was fast ever since he started walking.”

Hype surrounds Tyreek as Josh Stewart’s heir apparent in the Oklahoma State receiving corps, but football season is six months away.

In the meantime, Hill is setting records for the OSU track and field team.

At the Tyson Invitational on Feb. 14 — Hill’s first meet as a Cowboy — he ran the 60-meter dash in 6.65 seconds.

It was an OSU record.

At the Big 12 Indoor Track and Field Championships, Hill broke that mark with a 6.64, finishing in second place.

He also set a school record with a first-place 20.81 in the 200-meter dash.

At Coffee High School in Douglas, Ga., Hill ran the 200 in 20.14 seconds. That’s the second-best time in the history of high school track. Hill didn’t start running competitively until his junior year.

“He never even put the pedal to the metal, as of right now,” Virginia Hill said. “Tyreek still don’t know how fast he is. He’s still got some speed back there he’s hiding.”

Coach Mike Gundy and the OSU football staff battled powerhouse football programs such as Florida State, Alabama, Oklahoma and Texas to sign Hill.

It might not have happened without first-year OSU sprints coach Diego Flaquer.

Thanks to a new $10 million facility, track and field coach Dave Smith said he felt as if the school could begin attracting sprinters.

Flaquer took over in late July and began building a sprint team from the ground up. One of his first moves was getting involved with Hill.

“(Strength coach Rob) Glass took me upstairs to meet with the football staff, and they mentioned, ‘Hey, do you think you could try to help us recruit Tyreek?’ ” Flaquer said. “I said, ‘Hey, I’ll do what I can.’ ”

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