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All in the family

Both Eagles look up to bro on Sundays

All in the family

All in the family

    You can forgive Carson Hill and Darreion Robinson if they show more than a casual interest in NFL happenings on Sunday afternoons.
    The two Georgia Southern players have older brothers who play in the NFL. Older brothers who are highly paid, and among the best at their position.
    Hill’s older sibling is Seattle linebacker Leroy Hill, Jr., who is in his sixth pro season after a stellar career at Clemson. In April 2009 he signed a six year $38 million contract with the Seahawks who drafted him in the third round in 2005. He started in Super Bowl XL that year.
    The Hill brothers played their high school football at Baldwin County.
    Robinson’s brother, Dunta, plays closer to home. The Houston Texans took Dunta in the first round of the 2004 draft. He was the 10th player selected.
    This spring he signed a six year $57 million deal with the Atlanta Falcons, $22.5 million of which was guaranteed.
    The Robinsons played at Clarke Central High School in Athens. Although he wanted to go to Georgia the Bulldogs passed on Dunta who wound up at South Carolina.
     Carson Hill is in his fifth year at Georgia Southern, and is one of the Eagles’ starting cornerbacks.
    Darreion Robinson is a sophomore slotback who led the Eagles in rushing with 116 yards in last Saturday night’s 33-31 loss to Wofford. His 78 yard touchdown was the longest scoring run by a Georgia Southern player since Jayson Foster ran 80 yards against The Citadel in 2007.
    The two will be trying to get the Eagles (3-2, 1-1) back on the winning track Saturday at 6 p.m. when they visit Chattanooga (3-2, 2-1).
    “My brother and I are really close,” Hill said. “We grew up together and shared a room. We’re five years apart, and I looked up to him. Whatever sport he played I wanted to play.
    “When he played football in high school I wanted to play, too,” Hill said. “He took me everywhere with him and let me hang out with his friends. He has taken care of me and our parents.”
    There is a considerable physical difference between the two. Leroy is 6-foot-3 and weighs 238 pounds. Carson is a considerably smaller at at 5-10, 169 pounds.
    “People say we look alike,” Carson said. “But, we’re definitely different body types. We never really got compared as players because we played two totally different positions.”
    Carson was recruited to Georgia Southern by Brian Van Gorder who had also recruited Leroy to come to Georgia.
    “I kind of knew Coach VanGorder from his having recruited my brother,” said Hill who broke into the starting lineup as a true freshman. His brother became a starter at Clemson during his junior season.
    “I knew he was a pretty special player after that season when he finished second in the nation in tackles for losses with 27,” Hill recalled. “Georgia beat Clemson that year, 30-0, but he had 15 tackles, four for losses. I knew enough about football to know that was special.”
    Robinson is still learning his way with the Eagles’ triple option offense after running for 266 yards last year while starting four games. He has 166 yards this season on 13 attempts.
    There is a wider age gap between the two Robinsons, but Darreion, too, was inspired to play football by his brother.
    “I heard a lot about him when I got to high school,” Robinson said. “I played cornerback, too, when I got to high school, but then I moved to running back and stayed there.
    “I always felt I was a better running back than a cornerback,” Robinson said. “Since I was playing running back I never got compared to him because he was always a corner.”
    The two speak daily, and Robinson was quick to let his big brother know about his long run against the Terriers.
    “He was proud and happy for me, but he wasn’t surprised,” Robinson said. “He said he knew I could do it because he had seen me do it so many times in high school.”
    Like Carson Hill he said he can remember the moment when he knew there was something special about his brother’s playing ability.
    “His junior year (at South Carolina) was his breakout year,” Robinson said. “Then the scouts started coming around. By his senior year we knew he was going to go in the first round.
    “When he was the 10th player picked it was a surprise because no one expected him to go that high,” Robinson said. “I was in the ninth grade, and I can still remember that night. When they called his name my mom and dad cried.”
    While Robinson is focused on learning his way Hill is beginning to see the end of the road, and he would like a shot at playing in the NFL.
    “I definitely have aspirations,” Hill said. “I just want a chance. The fact I have a brother there may open some doors, and he told me when I get a chance to be prepared and to capitalize. He said it’s not about been drafted. There’s a lot of guys in the NFL who came into the league as free agents.”

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