Georgia Tech A-back Deon Hill’s unwillingness to be set back by a gastrointestinal disease has earned him national attention.
Hill, who missed three games last season after being diagnosed with Crohn’s disease and then missed spring practice for surgery to treat a recurrence, has been nominated for the Orange Bowl-FWAA Courage Award. The award is given to a college football player who displays courage on or off the field, including overcoming an injury or physical handicap, preventing a disaster or living through hardship.
Hill was diagnosed with the chronic inflammatory condition of the gastrointestinal tract last September and was hospitalized. He missed three games but returned to play all but one game, playing in the A-back rotation and on special teams.
When conditions persisted as his medication was reduced, Hill had surgery to remove the diseased portion of his intestines. He missed spring practice but returned for the start of preseason practice. He is again part of the A-back rotation. He has handled the setbacks with his usual good humor and contributed effectively to the Tech offense, including his game-winning 13-yard touchdown catch last Saturday against Georgia Southern.
Hill was the award’s first nominee of the season. The winner will be included in Orange Bowl festivities and will receive the award at halftime of the game.