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Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Tim Hiller Interview, Part 1

I'm terribly excited to share this with everyone. About a month ago, I discovered that Tim Hiller (2005 Orrville grad, duh...and current Western Michigan QB) is a reader of the blog, so I took the opportunity to contact him and see if he'd answer some questions for me. He was terribly gracious and accomodating. After getting it approved through the WMU athletic department (how official is that?), we were good to go.

It's a lot of info, so I'll spread it over 2 parts. This is part one, we'll discuss Tim's career at Orrville, his current rehab from a knee injury suffered at the end of the 2008 season, his faith, his NFL prospects and the adjustment from high school to college.


RRSB: First off, can you give an update on your rehab and how you’re progressing?
Tim: It’s going well, I feel very fortunate. We’re working on a lot of cutting, lateral movement, and footwork to reacclimate the knee to having game-like stress put on it. I will be participating in everything during our summer conditioning program.

RRSB: What do you consider your sports highlight in your time at Orrville?
Tim: There are so many, it’s hard to put a finger on just one. I think my senior year of football in 2004-05 was just an awesome experience. One of my favorite memories from basketball was taking it to Wooster by about 30 points at home when we were seniors. They beat us 21-20 at their place in the football season finale, so it was a great way to win my last game against Wooster.

RRSB: Is the success you’ve had so far the least bit vindicating? Especially given the fact that WMU was one of the few D1 schools that pursued you? Is that (or was it ever) a motivator?
Tim: God blessed me with an opportunity to play, and I’m just grateful for that. It wasn’t the opportunity that I hoped for at the time, but His plan is often different from our own. But it’s always better. I was excited to come to WMU, it’s been a great experience, and it was the right opportunity for me. It’s been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

RRSB: Any superstitions in terms of the way you prepare for a game (routine, pregame meals, etc)?
Tim: I try to keep the same routine as far as timing of eating, dressing, warm-up, etc., but no superstitions. It’s pretty structured since we’re always at the hotel the night before we play, whether it’s a home or away game.

RRSB: Was the adjustment from high school to college a tough one for you? Not just athletically, but even academically and even socially.
Tim: The biggest adjustment from a football standpoint was the speed of the game and the responsibility placed on the quarterback. The game moves really fast, and on top of it we as quarterbacks here at WMU are responsible for everything—all audibles—run, pass, protections, everything.

Academically it wasn’t too hard for me, I just continued good study habits I developed in high school.

Socially it was tough at first because there are 8,000 people in all of Orrville and 30,000 students here at WMU. But once I found my niche and my group of friends it was great. It’s just critical to surround yourself with great people.

RRSB: Tim Hiller, NFL quarterback. Can you even process that? I know you have an entire season of college ball left, but it has to be in the back of your mind.
Tim: We’ll worry about processing that at the end of December, hopefully after a bowl game. If our team takes care of business and has a great year that will take care of itself. You can have the best of both worlds if you take it one step at a time.

RRSB: How do you handle the attention (good & bad) of being in your position? I’m sure between family, teammates, coaches, friends, fans and media, it can be somewhat overwhelming.
Tim: It’s all a faith thing for me. God promises us in His Word never to give us anything we cannot handle with His help. My prayer is always that God would keep me humble and focused. It is hard sometimes but I try to do my best to keep everything in perspective and to deflect the praise to my teammates—I couldn’t do it without them.

RRSB: Your faith is obviously a big part of your life. How has your faith helped you through 2 surgeries and rehabilitations, and just the various trials that we all face?
Tim: It’s like what Paul writes in Philippians 4 when he talks about being content in all situations. It’s not that you’re happy about injury and adversity, but it’s that you learn to trust in God and His plan. That trust and faith is what builds the sense of peace and feeling content.

Each injury and challenge I’ve been through has just been God’s way of equipping me for the next big step in my life. I’ve reached a point where nothing really phases me anymore, good or bad, simply because God has brought me through everything to this point, and I know He’ll be there always, no matter the situation.

That's it for part 1, the 2nd and final part will deal with the upcoming season, and some uni-centric questions (of course).

I'd love to hear any comments you have....and given that Tim is a reader of the site, I'm sure he'd love to hear well wishes from those who continue to follow his career.

1 comment:

Scott Ferrell said...

Good questions Tim S. & thanks for being a positive role model for kids Tim Hiller. There's so few of them around anymore.