Kylin Hill certainly knows how valuable he is on the football field. More importantly though, he knows how valuable his voice is off it.
Prior to the start of the 2020 season, Hill said he would sit out the year if Mississippi did not change its state flag. At the time, the state flag included the Confederate battle emblem in it. Hill received a ton of support from his family, friends and social media followers for having the courage to use his platform in this manner. Shortly after he made his statement, the Mississippi state legislature passed a bill to permanently remove the Confederate battle emblem from the flag.
As for his work on the gridiron, Hill was an exceptional player for the Mississippi State Bulldogs. During the 2019 season, he had 242 carries for 1,350 yards and 10 touchdowns. He had to adjust his role this past season due to Mike Leach's air raid offense, but he proved that he's a quality receiver out of the backfield with 38 receptions for 295 yards and a touchdown in just three games.
Hill then put his athleticism on display for NFL coaches and executives with a strong performance at Mississippi State's pro day. The versatile tailback ran the 40-yard dash in 4.57 seconds, had a 36-inch vertical and completed the three-cone drill in 7.20 seconds.
We sat down with Kylin Hill to discuss his Mississippi State career, his pro day performance, why it's so important to use his platform for change and much more.
The Spun: How has this draft process been for you?
Kylin Hill: For me, it’s been a true blessing. Talking to different teams and coaches you see on TV is a true blessing.
The Spun: What was your pro day like?
KH: I feel like I did what I was supposed to do - I tested well. Just being with my teammates and pursing our dreams together was awesome.
The Spun: What was your favorite moment from your time at Mississippi State?
KH: It has to be the LSU game from this past season.
The Spun: What was it like adjusting to Mike Leach’s offense?
KH: It was an easy transition for me. I didn’t do it in college much, but I played in the slot a ton during high school. It was a great opportunity for me to show what I can do. Whatever I’m told to do, I’ll do to the best of my ability.
The Spun: You proved just how powerful college athletes’ voices can be. Looking back at the whole situation regarding the Mississippi flag, what do you think?
KH: I tell people all the time that it’s one of the biggest things I ever did in my life besides football, especially due to all the support I had from coaches and media outlets. They basically motivated me to do the right thing and not be afraid to use my voice in a positive way.
The Spun: I’ve noticed you help out the youth a lot. Why is that so important to you?
KH: I know what I’ve been through as a kid. You always want that person you can look up to. I just want to be there for kids who don’t have that person in their life.
The Spun: Which running backs do you watch on film?
KH: I like to study Alvin Kamara a lot.
The Spun: Do you feel like you have a stronger with some NFL teams compared to others?
KH: Not necessarily, but every coach I talk to I tell them ‘It doesn’t matter what the system is, I adjust.’ I feel like that’s what separates a good player from a great player.
The Spun: What’s your best quality on the field?
KH: It’s got to be my ability to line up in the slot. I feel like I create the most mismatches. No matter which linebacker is lined up against me, I feel like I got the edge.
The Spun: Are there any linebackers who you can’t wait to face next season?
KH: I’ll take whoever is on me. But if I had to pick, I’d choose one of my former teammates, Willie Gay.
The Spun: What are you working on before the NFL Draft?
KH: I’ve been working on staying patient. I feel like in order to be a great player, you got to know your flaws. I just need to stay patient and read my blocks.
The Spun: Do you have any goals for your rookie season?
KH: No personal goals right now. As for team goals, I’m hoping to come in Day 1 and help the team win.
The Spun: What is an NFL team getting in Kylin Hill?
KH: I tell people all the time that I’m a true dog. When I’m on that field, you’ll never have to worry about me shying away from the moment. I feel like I fear no one. The person who wants it more will win in the NFL, and I want it more.
Hill has generated a lot of buzz over the past few months due to his abilities as both a runner and receiver. He could come off the board as early as Day 2 of the 2021 NFL Draft.
You can read more of our interviews with athletes or media stars here.