Zach Smith: Bret Bielema Tried to Call and Cancel K.J. Hill's Official Visit to Ohio State

By 11W Staff on June 13, 2019 at 2:03 pm
K.J. Hill

On the latest episode of Zach Smith's podcast, the former Ohio State wide receivers coach singled out former Wisconsin and Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema for being “delusional,” claiming Bielema did something at Arkansas that he'd never seen another coach do.

It's January 2015 and Ohio State is locked in a recruiting battle for current Buckeye wideout K.J. Hill with his home state Arkansas Razorbacks, a school Hill had previously committed to before reopening his recruitment. Bielema, the head coach of Arkansas at the time, allegedly called Ohio State days before Hill was set to visit Columbus.

“K.J. Hill is coming [to Ohio State] on an official visit,” Smith said on the podcast. “It's the Monday before his official visit starts that Friday. Chris Ash comes into my office and says, ‘Hey, listen to this. This is bizarre.’ He has a voicemail from Bret Bielema saying, ‘Hey Chris, this is Bret. Just wanted to let you know that K.J. is going to cancel his official this weekend. I just wanted to apologize but he's not going to come.’

“Chris looked at me and I looked at him and we were both puzzled. I'd never heard of that. Kids cancel visits all of the time, but the head coach of the school that's recruiting [against] you calls up? Huh?”

This apparently did not go over well with the Hills.

“People in Arkansas wonder how they lost K.J. Hill. That's why,” Smith said. “Along with everything else that went on. We got K.J. and his dad on the phone. They were irate, pissed at Arkansas. So he came on his visit and basically he was done with Arkansas. That would have been like Urban calling Nick Saban and saying, ‘Hey, Zeke Elliott is not going to come on his visit this weekend.’”

Shortly after this story was published, Hill took to Twitter to confirm the basis of it.

Hill's trip to Columbus would be his last official visit as he later pledged to Ohio State in a Signing Day commitment. Hill, now a fifth-year senior, has caught a pass in 34-straight games for the Buckeyes, dating back to the 2016 season. He enters 2019 on the verge of making history with the Buckeyes.

View 114 Comments