Hill led URI to a 16-9 record in 25 games through first three seasons with the Rams. PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images
In his sixth year, University of Rhode Island’s starting quarterback, Kasim Hill has been through it all.
Hill started at the University of Maryland in 2017, transferred to the University of Tennessee for the 2019 season but due to National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) rules he was not able to play. After that, in 2020, he found a home here in Kingston, starting for three years.
Hill was granted an extra year of eligibility with the Rams, with the official announcement coming on February 3rd, which will be his fourth season at Meade Stadium and seventh of his career.
Hill’s extended eligibility was a big moment for himself and the team for 2023.
“I was excited, it was a two month long process,” Hill said.
Hill described his excitement with his teammates and coaches while with the team on February 2nd, the day before the official announcement.
“I was running around the facility, yelling at everybody,” Hill said with a smile.
Offensive Coordinator Patrick Murphy expanded on how pleased the entire team was with the NCAA’s ruling.
“He’s very excited, the team’s very excited. Anyone involved with the program obviously is extremely happy.”
Hill has seen injuries, Covid and transfers as he battled his way to stardom. He tore the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his left knee during a game against the University of Central Florida in September 2017, the first year of this journey. The next year as Maryland’s starting QB, Hill tore the ACL in his right knee after starting the first 10 games. Two ACL tears in two seasons can derail a career, but Hill never gave up and continued to get better and fight his way back.
“It’s been a lot of adversity on the journey, it’s kind of shaped me as a person and I’ve been able to appreciate all the good times that have come along with it, met a lot of good people along the way and formed some good relationships, and I’m definitely happy where I’m at now,” Hill said.
After Maryland, Hill transferred to the University of Tennessee in 2019 but due to NCAA transfer rules he could not play. Hill headed back to the transfer portal, and landed at URI. When Hill got to Kingston after a year on Tennessee’s scout team, he was ready to get back to work.
“I just wanted to get to being myself as a person and a player,” Hill said.
Hill has found his way here at URI, as he has thrown for 39 touchdowns to only 15 interceptions with over 5,100 yards.
Coach Murphy highlighted his improvement since his first year.
“The numbers speak for themselves, number of sacks have gone down, number of turnovers have gone down and the winning has gone up,” Murphy said. “We’ve had three consecutive winning seasons with him at quarterback, those results speak for themself.”
Hill took a large jump from 2021 to 2022, throwing for over 400 more yards from 2,170 to 2,588. He is currently 16-9 in his 25 games as the starting quarterback over the last three seasons.
Hill’s improvement has been vital to the Rams program over the last few years, and he credited the team and some of his teammates for helping him feel at home when he first arrived at URI.
“Ed Lee, Kwadir Brown, L.B. Mack, those first roommates made me feel at home, we did everything together whether it was going out to eat or meeting the rest of the team through them. So I felt at home right away,” Hill said.
Those three players were important to Hill in year one, but going into year three at URI he wanted to be there for everyone else, so being a captain was important to him.
“It was definitely a huge honor, that was one of my goals going into this season,” Hill said. “I just wanted to have everybody’s trust and respect, and to be able to earn that honor; that’s something I’ll hold on to for the rest of my life.”
Hill also spoke about how the team is so close and how they all have chemistry together.
“Biggest thing I noticed since I’ve been here is that it’s really like a big family,” Hill said. “We all hang out with each other, whether it’s going out to eat or just anything we’re always around each other and that’s made us on the field take the extra step for your brother, we’ll really do anything for each other and I think that shows during the games with how we persevere through alot of our games.”
Coach Murphy expanded on how Hill has stepped up and been a leader in the offseason:
“He’s doing a great job in that regard as far as leadership goes and he is going to continue to progress in that area as well,” he said.
Hill acknowledged the hype around himself and the team as he gets ready for spring ball.
“I appreciate all the excitement, be ready to come out to games this year and really see what we’re gonna do because it is time for that next step and we’re definitely going to take it,” he said.
With Hill coming back and the team gearing up for spring practices, everyone in Kingston is ready for Kasim and the Rams to take the field at Meade Stadium for the first time in 2023, on September 8th against Stony Brook.