In His Final Hurrah, K.J. Hill Coming Up Big For Ohio State Down The Stretch

By Chris Lauderback on December 14, 2019 at 2:10 pm
K.J. Hill gave Ohio State a 35-16 lead over Michigan with this six-yard touchdown grab.
Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

A fifth-year senior in Columbus, K.J. Hill knows what it means to leave a legacy at Ohio State. 

He's seen guys like J.T. Barrett arrive, seemingly stay forever, and accomplish big things at the school to cement a place in Buckeye history. 

2016 18 262 1
2017 56 549 3
2018 70 885 6
2019* 51 569 10
CAREER 195 2,265 20

Hill has already carved his name in the Ohio State history books after passing David Boston as the school's all-time receptions leader following a seven-catch night against Wisconsin in the Big Ten championship game. 

With his legacy already firmly in place as illustrated earlier this week by Colin Hass-Hill's outstanding article on the Little Rock, Arkansas product, K.J. can put a cherry on top in the form of a College Football Playoff national championship. 

No doubt, Hill has been a central figure down the stretch in helping Ohio State capture the Big Ten crown and a No. 2 seed setting up a date with Clemson in Glendale on Saturday, December 28. 

Over the last five games, Hill has six touchdown grabs to go along with 21 total catches and 264 yards. 

Hill was right in the mix of Ohio State's win over Wisconsin in Indianapolis last weekend, coming up with two huge touchdowns after the Buckeyes fell into to a 21-7 halftime hole. 

He hauled in a 16-yard touchdown featuring a nice run for the last seven yards to find the end zone giving Ohio State its first lead at 24-21 early in the third quarter. Not long after, he pulled in a 13-yard toss for six after he and a scrambling Justin Fields made eye contact and improvised a route giving Ohio State a 31-21 lead. 

The week before in Ann Arbor, Hill caught a six-yard toss from Fields early in the third quarter, giving Ohio State some breathing room at 35-16 after Michigan threw everything but the kitchen sink at the Buckeyes in the first half. Hill's catch served as the catalyst for Ohio State to outscore the Wolverines 28-11 in the second half of a 56-27 win. 

Leading up the the showdown in Ann Arbor, Hill secured a 24-yard touchdown catch early in the third quarter against Penn State, putting Ohio State up 21-0 before fumble-itis enabled the Nittany Lions to mount a bit of a threat. Ohio State would go on to win 28-17 with Hill's score looming large over the outcome. 

On the season, Hill leads the Buckeyes with 51 receptions while slotting second in both receiving yards (569) and touchdowns catches (10). 

Assuming he holds on, this season will serve as the second time in the last three years Hill leads the team in catches. 

But stats aren't what Ohio State's all-time receptions leader plays for. Hill's in it for a ring and if he can build on his current five-game scoring streak, he'll increase his odds of earning exactly that. 

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