The Kansas City Chiefs spent a fifth-round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft on Tyreek Hill with an obvious understanding of his upside. While the 5-foot-10 wide receiver didn’t explode out of the gate during his rookie season, he certainly showed quite a bit of upside at points. And now with Hill’s third NFL season coming down the final stretch, he’s gone from a player with potential to a clear-cut No. 1 wideout.
Hill’s path to the NFL wasn’t the typical route, and it featured mistakes and bumps in the road along the way. The Chiefs receiver first attended Garden City Community College where he showed off his big-play potential as a sophomore in 2013. During that season, Hill rushed for 659 yards and five touchdowns while catching 57 passes for 532 yards.
This put Hill on the radar of many college programs as a junior college recruit, and he chose to go to Oklahoma State University. Interestingly, he was viewed as a running back originally, although his pass-catching abilities were apparent.
Tyreek Hill’s Time at Oklahoma State
The electrifying playmaker did a little of everything for the Cowboys during the 2014 season. He totaled 102 rushing attempts for 534 yards, caught 31 passes for 281 yards and scored two touchdowns. Hill’s ability as a returner was on full display, as he returned 30 kicks for 740 yards (24.7 yards per) with two scores while adding 256 punt return yards and an additional score.
After a game on December 6 in which Hill returned a punt 92 yards for a touchdown to help lead a comeback against Oklahoma, things took a big turn. Oklahoma State dismissed Hill from both their football and track teams for a domestic violence arrest, per ESPN.
He was charged with punching and choking his pregnant girlfriend and received three years probation. Along with that, Hill also had to complete an anger management course, a yearlong program for batterers and pay a $500 fine.
Hill Heads to University of West Alabama
Hill proceeded to continue his collegiate career just under one year later. The University of West Alabama announced that Hill would join the program on September 1, 2015, and that he would suit up immediately. During his first game with the Tigers just days later, the Chiefs current receiver found the end zone on an 88-yard punt return.
Over the 11 games Hill played at West Alabama, he was utilized in a variety of ways, but his ability as a receiver stood out. At season’s end, he had totaled 27 receptions for 444 yards and three touchdowns along with 25 rushing attempts for 237 yards and one additional score. Over his only season with the team, he also returned 20 punts while scoring two touchdowns.
Hill did not receive an invite to the NFL Scouting Combine but drew additional attention at the West Alabama Pro Day.