Ronnie Hillman Selected By the Denver Broncos in the NFL Draft
April 27, 2012
SAN DIEGO - San Diego State running back Ronnie Hillman was selected in the third round of the National Football League Draft on Friday afternoon by the Denver Broncos. Hillman, who spent two seasons at San Diego State, produced 15 career 100-yard rushing games (second in school history behind NFL Hall of Famer Marshall Faulk), 12 career 150-yard games (second to Faulk) and three 200-yard rushing games in 26 games.
"I'm excited, it's been my dream to play in the NFL for a while now and I'm just thankful," Hillman said. "I'm just going to come in and try to help win; that's all I can do. I'll just bring my versatility to the team and being able to create more on offense. I'll come in and learn from the best."
"(He is a) very explosive running back who has the ability to score every time he touches the ball," John Elway, executive vice president of football operations John Elway tweeted. "Happy he's a Bronco."
NFL Network's Mike Mayock believes Hillman will make an impact with the Broncos.
"He's a guy that I think provides instant offense for the Denver Broncos," Mayock said on NFL Network's draft broadcast. "Peyton Manning's going to love him."
Hillman was selected with the 67th overall pick, marking the earliest an Aztec player has been taken since Matt McCoy went to Philadelphia with the 63rd pick in 2005. Hillman is the 53rd San Diego State player taken the first 100 picks of an NFL Draft. He is the first SDSU running back selected since Larry Ned in 2002 (selected in the sixth round by Oakland) and it is the highest an Aztec running back has gone since Faulk was taken number two in the 1994 NFL Draft.
A native of La Habra, Calif., Hillman was named a third-team All-American by the Associated Press this past season, when he rushed for 1,711 yards (second most in school history, trailing George Jones, 1995) and 19 touchdowns. A two-time first-team all-Mountain West Conference member, he ends his collegiate career with 3,243 rushing yards and 36 rushing touchdowns.
Hillman helped San Diego State to bowl game appearances in each of his two seasons, including offensive MVP honors in San Diego State's 2010 Poinsettia Bowl victory over Navy. The Aztecs posted a 17-9 record in his two seasons and advanced to consecutive bowl games for the first time in the school's Division I history and the first time since 1966 and 1967.
With Hillman's selection, at least one San Diego State player has been taken in the NFL Draft in four of the last five years and nine of the last 11 years, dating back to 2002.
The remaining four rounds of the 2012 NFL Draft will be held tomorrow.