Tuesday, May 29, 2007

A True Patriot Falls Saving Another's Life!

Authorities have found the body of New England Patriots defensive end Marquise Hill near the location of a jetski accident on Lake Pontchartrain. He was 24.
(Staff file photo by Angela Rowlings - HERALD)
May God Rest His Soul. The gates of heaven are open to Marquise this day.
Pats player dies after rescuing palBy John TomaseBoston Herald Sports Writer
Tuesday, May 29, 2007 - Updated: 03:34 AM ESTMarquise Hill absorbed a lot of shots during his Patriots [team stats] career, but he never let them change the man he was off the field.

A 2004 second-round pick out of LSU, Hill may not have cracked the starting lineup, but that didn’t stop him from donating his time and energy to a number of worthwhile causes, be it constructing an access ramp for a Mattapan resident or helping his neighbors in Katrina-ravaged New Orleans to rebuild.

The Patriots today are mourning a tragedy in Hill’s native Louisiana, where the defensive end disappeared Sunday night after a Jet Ski accident on Lake Pontchartrain.
His body was discovered yesterday afternoon.

“We have suffered a stunning and tragic loss today,” Patriots coach Bill Belichick said in a statement. “Marquise will be remembered as a thoughtful and caring young man who established himself as one of the yearround daily fixtures of our team. I send my deepest condolences to the Hill family,” he said.

Added Patriots owner Robert Kraft: “We are absolutely heartbroken to learn of Marquise’s death. Our immediate thoughts go to Marquise’s mother, Sherry, and the rest of his family. He was only 24 years old and his death is hard to comprehend. Marquise was a very respectful young man who worked hard to improve and was always eager to contribute to the team, both on the field and in the community.”

Patriots cornerback Randall Gay, who played with Hill at LSU, was at the scene when authorities found his body, according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune.
“I know it’s going to be hard in that locker room seeing his locker,” Gay said.
Hill arrived in Foxboro with the potential to be a high-reward pick. A stalwart on LSU’s 2003 national championship team, the 6-foot-6, 300-pounder possessed many of the physical tools coaches desire.
However, he landed behind one of the best sets of defensive linemen in the NFL, squeezed for playing time by All-Pro-caliber players Richard Seymour [stats], Vince Wilfork [stats] and Ty Warren [stats], with fellow LSU grad Jarvis Green a superb pass-rushing specialist off the bench.
Hill endured his share of criticism for not cracking the rotation, but he kept his head up high.
“I don’t worry about what other people say, because they can’t play football,” he said last season. “You can’t get down on yourself too early in your career if you’re behind some good guys.
“Obviously you want to play, but everything happens for a reason, so you have to sit back and wait, and when your time comes, take advantage of it,” he said.
The Patriots clearly believed Hill had something to offer, keeping him on the roster for each of the past three seasons. He appeared in 13 games during that time, recording three tackles. A team-first attitude and humble nature helped his cause.
One of the most heralded recruits in the country coming out of De La Salle High School in New Orleans, Hill started 24 of 38 games for LSU before entering the draft as a junior. He came recommended by then-LSU coach Nick Saban, a close friend of Belichick’s.
With Green and Mike Wright already ahead of him on the depth chart, Hill faced another battle for a spot on the team this season after the Patriots drafted Miami defensive tackle Kareem Brown.

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