The Weekday Update is PFB’s take on a laid-back conversation with those Oklahoma State guys and gals you just crave a little more information about.
Justice Hill was Oklahoma State’s first commit in the 2016 class, giving his verbal as a junior at Booker T. Washington High School in Tulsa. That decision wasn’t rash. It was formulated over years of fandom, so now as a starter for the Cowboys, he is on cloud nine.
Most of us millennials and probably some of you a little older than I am have done it, and Justice Hill was no different growing up.
As a kid, he reached down to turn on the video game console, waited for NCAA Football to load up and went straight to the ‘Customize’ option. He hit ‘Create A Player,’ and off he went. If you are reading this, your favorite college football team is likely the Oklahoma State Cowboys. Again, Hill was no different. Living about an hour away in Tulsa, his dream was to play for the Cowboys, so just about every time he made his character on the video game, he had to scroll until he hit the ‘O’ schools.
Imagine that. Growing up idolizing the players on your favorite team, then starting for them alongside a potential Heisman Trophy winner every Saturday.
It gives me chills just thinking about how real it all is.
Hill’s dad, Derrick, went to OSU, but Hill said his dad didn’t have much of a liking for his university’s athletics and therefore didn’t have much of an impact on why he became such a superfan as a kid. Something else did it for him.
“Watching TV, just the colors and the uniforms,” Hill said. “I just liked ’em over OU, so that just carried throughout the years.”
He said his first memory of OSU was watching Zac Robinson quarterback the Cowboys during the mid- to late-2000s. That’s where he got a taste for the unis, and that makes a lot of sense given how well Zac wore those threads.
Robinson, Kendall Hunter, Keith Toston and that group made me fall in love with OSU football, too. Hill said Hunter was one of the guys he looked up to the most as a kid but didn’t know about Toston, which I thought was interesting given Hill’s number switch from 27 to 5.
“I didn’t watch him,” Hill said with a laugh.
He did watch Bedlam in 2014. He said that was his best memory of watching OSU growing up. Hill was a junior at Booker T. Washington, only about two months away from committing to the school where another running back named Hill was returning punts to send rivalry games to overtime.
“It was pretty crazy because most people started changing the channel at halftime because they were down two touchdowns,” Justice said.
Tyreek’s punt return didn’t earn Justice’s commitment. He was sold on Stillwater long before that. Long before Daxx Garman was overthrowing James Washington. Long before the Fiesta Bowl. So having earned a scholarship to live out an actual video game fantasy is …
“A dream come true.”