The article is from The Athletic. The quotes are from Ryan Nielsen, the DL coach at NC State, Dave Doeren, the Head coach, Dontonio Burnette, strength coach and Bradley Chubb.
Nielsen: I won’t forget this: When B.J. came to Junior Day, his mom told me in the locker room this will be the toughest kid you ever coached. She was right. He had zero offers when he came to camp. He battled his ass off. Him and Tony Adams (a future four-year starting offensive lineman for the Wolfpack) went toe to toe in pass rush drills just in helmets. It was on. We knew he was gonna be a 300-pounder-plus. No question. Before camp, we weren’t sure if he was stiff. He enrolled early and came on campus at 260. He had to learn to play double teams, and he proved his toughness that first spring. That kid did everything we ever asked of him. Never missed a meal. Never was late for anything. Never. Ever. I love that kid.
Doeren: B.J. played running back at like 240. He was a big-framed, thick-wristed guy. You knew he could get bigger quick. We didn’t know he could play right away.
Dantonio Burnette, aka Coach Thunder, N.C. State strength coach: I call him Uncle B.J. He’s a very mature guy. By spring ball, he was 290. He helped (Chubb, Jones and Street) understand how we did things. Those guys were always together. I’d go out with those guys once a month because I knew they were the leaders of the team so I could get the temperature of the team.
Chubb: B.J. was like a granddad to some guys. Out of all of us, he’d been there the longest. He knew the ropes, so we did look to him. He is an old soul.
Hill started five of the Wolfpack’s final six games of 2014, including the St. Petersburg Bowl victory against UCF that gave N.C. State an 8-5 record. He won the team’s Philip Rivers Freshman of the Year Award while the other three played in backup roles. Chubb, even though he’d been recruited as a D-lineman, told Nielsen he wanted to play linebacker after he arrived in Raleigh. But that idea lasted one season. Link
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