In addition to the eighteen returning starters that the UNI football team brings back from last season, there are also a handful of new faces who are expected to play key roles this year. One of them is former Cedar Falls running back Barkley Hill, who spent the past two seasons at Iowa.
Hill’s time in Iowa City was marred by injuries, including a knee tear that kept him out for the entire 2012 season. He says he finally feels healthy coming into this season and that makes a world of difference. Hill says the players and coaches have been welcoming and it’s a good environment.
Hill says the change of scenery has helped him put his knee troubles out of mind. “My knee is good now, I’m not worried about getting hurt now. Things happen, people get hurt, it’s just something you have to work on getting back from and not let it affect you in the future,” Hills says.
Despite the transfer, Hill sees benefits from his time at Iowa. He says he developed a work ethic and learned about the mental aspect of the game, which has made the transition easier. With all-conference running back David Johnson already in place at UNI, Hill says he understands his role for the Panthers will be to take some of the load off and help Hill stay healthy.
Hill was Iowa’s Gatorade Player of the Year following his senior season at Cedar Falls. He did not register a single carry in his two years as a Hawkeye.
(Reporting by Jesse Gavin, KCNZ, Cedar Falls)