In the first installment of Fan Drool, we take a deeper look into the man that is Tyreek Hill.
Without a doubt, Tyreek Hill has become one of the most electrifying members of the National Football League.
Even if Hill never played another down, he was unquestionably a steal in the 2016 NFL Draft. Still available in round five, the Chiefs grabbed Hill at pick 165. A total of 16 wideouts were selected before the Cheetah, including New Orleans star Michael Thomas, Texans’ Will Fuller, and the Chiefs own Demarcus Robinson.
Names such as Leonte Caroo, Laquon Treadwell, and Ricardo Louis are among the receivers taken before Hill as well. Safe to say at this juncture, the Saints are the only team that may have got their receiver pick correct.
Tyreek slipped down the draft due to an incident while playing at Oklahoma State, forcing him to play his final collegiate career at Alabama State. Hill was considered a high-risk pick due to the domestic issues with then-girlfriend, Crystal Espinal.
Regardless, Andy Reid wanted him. Hill would provide a multifaceted player that the Chiefs desperately needed.
The Cheetah was born.
So what is it about Tyreek that has fans drooling? It’s more than just his speed on the field, but let us start there. Back to the college days.
Fans of the Big 12 remember when Bob Stoops decided to not only punt to Hill once toward the end of the game, but twice. Hill called a fair catch at the 15-yard line after a running into the punter call went against the Oklahoma State Cowboys. It was just a 5-yard penalty, setting up another punt, or the Sooners could have let the Cowboys have the ball with 85 yards to go, with little time left on the clock, down by 7 points.
Nope. Stoops decided to try to pin the Pokes even deeper, and punted one more time.
Hill caught the punt at the 8-yard line, made a man miss, and was gone. The score tied the game and the Pokes went on to win in OT.
His speed and vision on the field gave Chiefs fans a nice little nest egg in the return game, flashing memories of Dante Hall. It didn’t take long for returner to become a nasty word for the Cheetah, as he worked at becoming an every day starter for the Chiefs at the wideout position.
This past season, that speed was on display yet again. The fastest man in football stole Damien Williams’ thunder with a highlight reel game of tag.
Against the Vikings, at the Chiefs own 9-yard line, Williams broke through for a 91-yard touchdown run. As great a run as it was, it wasn’t his speed that caught the eye of football fans. It was the guy that caught him before he made the endzone.
As Williams crosses the 20-yard line, Hill is basically standing still. By the time Williams gets within 10 yards of the goal line, Hill is there with his arm wrapped around him in celebration.
Williams is not slow. This play shows just how fast Tyreek is. Clocked at 23 miles per hour, Hill even had to maneuver around some defenders to catch the running back. It wasn’t the only time Hill caught up to Williams either.
Hill’s speed gave him the nickname. However, Williams is the prey here, and the cheetah always catches his prey.
Beyond the world-class speed is a set of hands and a vertical jump that doesn’t match Hill’s stature. Quickly becoming involved in top 5 receiver talk across the league. Undoubtedly the most dangerous weapon in the NFL. May not be the best yet, but he doesn’t have far to go, especially if he stays healthy.
Tyreek has also made himself available to the public. A rare yet appreciated trait among professional athletes.
During the offseasons, he has invited cameras into his various workout routines. Showing off his superhuman physique, as well as his sense of humor and the relationship with his teammates.
Tyreek’s own Youtube channel is packed full of work out sessions, pranks, live gaming feeds, and a personal look into his home life.
A kid at heart, Tyreek not only has a swagger on the field, but a personality that keeps you smiling.
The travesties of past mistakes and bad company follow those in the limelight much more closely than do yours or mine. Before the start of last season’s Super Bowl run, those ghosts came back to haunt him.
Following the story close, those who wanted to see it could, something didn’t add up. Accusations of child abuse were brought upon Hill when his son suffered a broken arm. Behind the direction of ex-girl Espinal and the shoddy coverage of a local television station, Hill was on the outside looking in once again.
To those who knew Hill, or even those that followed him closely, the accusations didn’t make much sense from the beginning. His little boy absolutely adores him. However, with Hill’s past still casting a shadow the narrative was once again against him.
Far too quietly, the accusations were dismissed, lies and deceit were illuminated, and Hill was able to move on. These false allegations brought many people closer to the cheetah. It would be fair to say his fandom has never been stronger.
The Chiefs Kingdom is a family. From the Hunt family, to the staff, players, grounds crew, and the fans. The sea of red is one.
Tyreek Hill brings an element to the game that very few can bring. In the blink of an eye, the game can change with Hill on the field. Now you see him, now you don’t.
From jumping in the stands and just sitting there like he’s having a summer picnic after a score to playing cameraman, eyes automatically find where Hill is at all times.
With #15 throwing the ball, and a supporting cast of characters around him, the future is bright for the fastest man in football, and fans will continue to drool over the amazing things he produces. On and off the field.