By John Macon Gillespie
The Ole Miss defensive line was a question mark heading into fall camp, but the Rebels are hoping to find one answer on the unit in KD Hill.
Hill, a sophomore, spent last season as an understudy to Benito Jones and claims he learned a lot from the former Rebel star. That education helped Hill earn a starting spot for the Rebels in their season opener against Florida on Saturday.
For Hill, making the starting rotation on the defensive line has been a goal for some time.
“It’s truly a blessing,” Hill said. “Ever since I committed here, that’s something I’ve dreamed of doing. Just got to stay humble and keep working hard. Hard work always beats talent, and it helps you prepare better.”
As Hill and the rest of the Rebels were in quarantine, they prepared as if a season would be played in 2020, something that wasn’t a certainty in the not-too-distant past.
“I felt like everyone as a whole, we prepared well while we were quarantining,” Hill said. “Although you had that mindset thinking about the season, we still just worked hard every day.”
While Ole Miss has depth at linebacker, the depth and experience at defensive line and defensive backfield have been viewed as an unknown all offseason, but Hill believes his unit can be pleasantly surprising this season.
“I like the way we came together [in fall camp],” Hill said, “and we’re taking up for each other. We’re always telling each other things we need to work on, and that’s what makes a good D-line.”
Hill made 11 appearances a season ago as a redshirt freshman, but he admits he is ready to see some live action against another team this week when No. 5 Florida comes to town.
“I’m very excited, but I’m just going to let the game come to me,” Hill said.
Hill and the Rebels will face Florida at 11 a.m. on Saturday at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.