Missouri Western's Michael Hill (right) earned offensive MVP honors after rushing for 148 yards. Dave Martin/AP photograph

Michael Hill: Hidden gem pays visit to the Green Bay Packers

If you’re like me, you wouldn’t be able to find Missouri Western University on a map, nor would you have known about Michael Hill, that school’s running back, until it was reported today that he’s one of a handful of prospective draft candidates who visited the facilities at Green Bay this week.

The 5-11, 205-pound back from St. Joseph, Mo., rushed for 4,969 yards, 35 touchdowns over the course of his four-year career at the Division II school, which included 2,168 in 14 games this past season – a school record.

Based on those numbers, Hill was invited to the first Raycom College Football All-Star Classic, a game where he outshined many Division I teammates by rushing for 148 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries. He helped lead the Stripes to a 31-3 victory over the Stars. He had two long runs in that game, one for 44 and the other for 49 yards.

“You never know what to expect coming from Division II,” Hill said after the game. “You hear about the SEC and all that speed. I thought I could come compete and play with speed, too. I didn’t know what to expect. I guess I fit in.”

Hill started 14 games for the Griffons in 2012 and according to his school’s website, he was named First Team AP Little-America Team, First Team Daktronic All-American, first Team Beyond Sport College Network All-American, First Team All-Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association, and was voted Offensive Player of the Year in the MIAA.

Even more impressive, Hill caught 93 passes for 882 yards and six touchdowns during his college career. At his pro day, Hill ran the 40-yard dash in 4.58 seconds – certainly not burning speed, but respectable.

According to nfldraftscout.com, Hill was rated thirty-seventh out of the 186 running backs rated by the site.

If the Packers are looking for hidden gem, could Hill be that guy. At least they’ve seen him with the visit. Whether Ted Thompson pulls the trigger on Hill, of course, remains to be seen.

Here’s a video of the Division II star …

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