The Tampa Bay Storm has some of the most talented players in the AFL. “Player Spotlight” is a new segment where we’ll be taking a closer look at each of the Storm players and their specialties. This week the light lands on the franchise single game receiving yards leader, Joe Hills.
Born October 2, 1987 and raised in Palmetto, Florida, Joe Hills has always been a well-rounded athlete. He played two sports (basketball and football) at Palmetto High School. Successful in both, Hills became the second leading scorer in Palmetto High basketball history and recorded over 500 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns his senior year. Joe Hills was ranked the 27th best “athlete” in the nation by Rivals.com.
From High School, he was recruited by the University of South Carolina where he played 12 games in two years, 11 of those were in the 2008 season. His junior year, Hills transferred to Tennessee State where he quickly became the Tiger’s leading receiver. From there, he was contacted and eventually signed by the Tennessee Titans as an undrafted free agent in 2011.
After a brief stint with the Titans, Hills was assigned to the AFL’s Spokane Shock September 27, 2011. During three games that year Hills hauled in 14 catches for 134 yards. The Tampa Bay Storm took notice.
Acquired June 13, 2012, the 6-5 215 pound receiver made an immediate impact. In his first five games, he had 39 catches for 648 yards and 13 touchdowns. On July 21, Hills recorded the third most receiving yards in a single game in franchise history against his former team the Shock. Catching eight passes for 215 yards he carved out his first spot in Storm history.
This season, Joe Hills continues to make his presence known. Even with missing two games, due to a camp invite from the Carolina Panthers, he is ranked fourth in the league with 1,099 receiving yards and third in the league with 26 TD receptions.
On April 6, during a 77-65 victory over the Utah Blaze, Hills set the franchise record for most receiving yards in a single game with 259. Listed below are some more notable stats:
One of the league’s top receivers, Joe Hills is a key part of the Tampa Bay offense. Look for Hills to continue to shine as he and the Storm hunt down a berth to the 2013 AFL playoffs.
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