Wide receiver Tyreek Hill joined the Kansas City Chiefs as a fifth-round choice from West Alabama in the 2016 NFL Draft — the first player picked from the Tigers since Ken Hutcherson and Larry Lightfoot in 1974.
Hill was at West Alabama because he’d been dismissed from the Oklahoma State football team.
Hill had pleaded guilty to felony domestic assault and battery of his pregnant girlfriend. Hill received a three-year deferred sentence with probation and was ordered to complete an anger-management course and a 52-week batterer’s intervention program.
That was in 2015. Today, Hill and the woman he assaulted, Crystal Espinal, are engaged to be married and are raising their 3-year-old son, the Kansas City Star reported.
“It feels good,” Hill said. “Everything feels good. Everything is in order. I’m playing well. My family is great. My family is amazing. I have a great support system. Everything is going well for me. …
“I enjoy going home each and every day because every day is a challenge for me. Stepping up another notch. I’m trying to be a great father. Not only a great football player, but a tremendous father to my son because I want him to grow up and be better than I was.”
Hill completed his probation in August, causing the domestic-abuse charges to be dismissed and his record to be expunged.
As a rookie, Hill earned the spot as the punt returner on the All-Pro team. Last year, he grew into a 1,000-yard receiver. In both ways, he’s the NFL’s pre-eminent long-distance scorer. Of his 24 career touchdowns, 13 have covered more than 50 yards, including a 91-yard punt return this season.
As a starting receiver on the NFL’s top-scoring offense, Hill has caught 14 passes for 310 yards and three touchdowns in 2018.
The Chiefs visit the Denver Broncos at 7:15 p.m. CDT Monday to wrap up Week 4 of the NFL’s 2018 season. ESPN will televise the game.
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For Week 3 of the season, Hill was named the NFL Players Association’s Community MVP for his work at the Hope WRX Food Pantry. Hill and his fiancee helped bag groceries for 125 Kansas City families last week.
— NFLPA (@NFLPA) September 28, 2018
Hill also has established the Tyreek Hill Foundation, which seeks to impact single-parent households and at-risk youth in the Kansas City community through education, health and fitness.
Mark Inabinett is a sports reporter for Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter @AMarkG1.