Austin Hill smiled all day.
The Arizona Wildcats receiver knew he was going to practice Tuesday for the first time since tearing an ACL late in spring practice, and his return ended up putting a smile on everyone’s face.
“Oh, it was great,” said running back Ka’Deem Carey. “I saw him running routes and I was excited. It actually made me want to practice harder.”
Said quarterback B.J. Denker: “He’s back doing what he loves.”
Whether Hill ends up doing what he loves in a game this season is still unknown. Too much uncertainty. He has to see how his left knee reacts, what the doctors say, how confident he feels cutting and moving and being tackled.
“I don’t want to say I’m not going to come back, because that’s not the mindset I really need to have right now,” said Hill, about seven months removed from the injury.
“Mentally, I want to come back and try to play, so I’m going to try to push myself to do that. In the long run, even if I don’t come back it will still be better for me to prepare like I’m trying to come back, but in a safe and careful way.”
What Hill can say, unequivocally — and happily for Arizona fans — is that he will be a Wildcat next season as a senior.
“I’m not done with college yet,” he said.