ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Michigan fullback Khalid Hill announced via social media Thursday night that he will return to Michigan for his final season of eligibility.
His return immediately gives the Wolverines more versatility on offense in 2017 than had he left for the NFL.
The fullback has become an integral part of Michigan’s offensive scheme under second-year coach Jim Harbaugh, Hill thriving in a position which incorporates rushing, blocking, pass protection and receiving.
“People kind of sleep on the fullback position because a fullback doesn’t play a lot,” Hill said earlier this season. “But we do a lot of hard work. It’s not easy to go in and say, ‘I’m about to go hit a guy, full speed, and hit a linebacker right in his face.’ A lot of people don’t want to do that.”
In 12 games this season, Hill has 25 carries for 39 yards and 14 catches for 105 yards. But where Hill is doing his most damage statistically on the scoreboard. The 6-foot-2, 258-pound Hill leads the Wolverines with 12 touchdowns, including 10 on the ground. He will no doubt continue to help the Wolverines in short-yardage situations next season.
Hill said earlier this week that he was undecided on his return to Michigan; part of his decision, he explained, hinged upon feedback from the NFL’s Draft Advisory board.
“(I’m) leaning toward coming back, but something could change,” Hill told reporters Wednesday. “I’m just waiting to hear that feedback.”
Hill’s return for 2017 also gives the Wolverines another option in the backfield. With senior De’Veon Smith the only member of the Michigan four-headed rushing attack leaving after this season, Hill will bring a battering-ram type presence to Michigan’s the other three returnees lack.
Also, instead of training someone on the fly to become Michigan’s top fullback — Bobby Henderson is a fifth-year senior while Henry Poggi is a redshirt junior with 7 career catches for 47 yards — Michigan can rely on Hill’s experience at the position.
No. 6 Michigan (10-2) faces No. 11 Florida State (9-3) in the Orange Bowl on Dec. 30 in Miami Gardens, Fla.