Grant Hill was one of the top prospects in the state of Alabama all season long, yet he was not present at the annual Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic. The reason was an ankle injury suffered in Huntsville (Ala.) High's final regular season game in 2012.
After short rest, Hill played on the injury in the postseason. Though not easy, the combination of rest and rehab in between his school's postseason and the Under Armour All-American game week led to his participation and eventual success at the event.
"I've faced adversity with it…just rehabbing it and doing what I have to do, it was almost a good thing," Hill admitted. "Everyone thinks when you're young, nothing can hurt me, I'm invincible. But the reality is that you have a body and you need to take care of it.
"It's definitely a humbling experience."
Getting through it all has enabled the four-star Alabama commit to get back to his foundation, creating running lanes and protecting passers on the football field.
"It's good to get back in pads to play with some guys that I'm going to be playing with and against and some of the best in the country," he added.
One particular defensive linemen he's gone against has challenged him the most, though he has gotten the better of him on occasion.
"Robert Nkemdiche is an absolute animal; he's got a motor that never stops," Hill said with a laugh. "He's got excellent hand-work, excellent footwork, and balance. You can tell he puts in a lot of time at what he does."
Players like Nkemdiche, the top player in the entire class of 2013, have forced every other All-American to bring his A-game on every single rep in practice throughout the week.
"The talent level is so high, nobody is average out here," said Hill. "Everyone is a great player."
While admitting he isn't actively recruiting anybody to join him in Tuscaloosa, Hill laughed at how much it has been going on. Part of that mindset is because of how he now feels with Alabama considering the staff has stopped recruiting him because of his stance with the program.
Said Hill, "They're talking to me more as a player instead of as a guy that they're recruiting. They talk to me about what they expect of me and where they see me when I get there."