120 Players To Know - WMU QB Tim Hiller
Western Michigan QB Tim Hiller
Western Michigan QB Tim Hiller
Posted Mar 17, 2009

Who are the players you need to know about? Maybe they've been under the radar, or maybe they're the future NFL stars who'll be a really big deal next April. Get to know the stars of 2009 as CFN profiles 120 Players You Need To Know over 120 days (one for each team) continuing with Western Michigan QB Tim Hiller.

120 Players You Need To Know

Western Michigan QB Tim Hiller

By Pete Fiutak 

Who is Tim Hiller? ... He hasn’t received the fanfare of Nate Davis and he hasn’t produced the big wins like Dan LeFevour, but Hiller has been one of the MAC’s most productive passing quarterbacks over the last few years. It’s been a long, interesting career that started out with a hot first season that ended in disaster. He came off the bench as a freshman to blaze through the second half of the 2005 season with 20 touchdown passes and three interceptions, but he suffered a major knee injury against Northern Illinois late in the year that kept him out all of 2006. When he came back, he had a fight on his hands for the starting job, but he came up with a decent 2007 throwing for 3,021 yards and 20 touchdowns, but he was inconsistent and he threw 15 picks. Last year was different. The knee was healthy, for the most part, the receiving corps was great, and Hiller was a master of the offense completing 65% of his throws for 3,725 yards and 36 touchdowns with ten interceptions.

At 6-5 and 228 pounds, he has good size, a decent arm, and a total command of the offense going into this season. When he gets time to operate, he can pick teams apart and get into an unstoppable groove. Now that he’s a senior, and in his fifth year in the program, this should be his time to shine as a potential MAC Player of the Year, and also as an NFL prospect.

Hiller's best game so far was ... in the 28-19 win over Iowa in 2007. All the Hawkeyes had to do was beat the MAC team and they were off to a bowl game. Hiller and the offense blew up in Iowa City with a 26-of-45 passing day for 367 yards, three touchdowns, and no interceptions as the Broncos pulled off the stunner. Iowa stayed home for the holidays.  
Why you should care about Hiller ... He has the potential to be one of the nation’s breakout stars, similar to Nate Davis last year. As he’s demolishing the WMU record books, he’s also showing an ability to come up with big performances against name teams. WMU might have lost to Nebraska in last year’s opener, but Hiller threw for 342 yards and two scores. He led the way to a win over Illinois with 301 yards and two touchdowns, and there was the win at Iowa in 2007 that set the tone for 2008. This year, Hiller gets three Big Ten road games at Michigan, Indiana, and Michigan State to make some noise on a national scale.

Hiller’s pro potential ... With the size and the experience, Hiller has a good résumé to get his foot in the door and get to an NFL camp. His biggest plus is that he’s a real, live, pro style quarterback in today’s day and age of spread players. This will be an interesting year to see if he warrants a long look as one of the top five quarterbacks, or if he’s really a second day flier, with a new receiving corps to work with. If he puts up 2007 numbers this year, he’ll become known as a guy who makes everyone around him better. Ultra-smart, he’s an all-star in the classroom, he has the potential to be a solid backup NFL quarterback because of the way he’ll lead the scout team.

Negatives about Hiller ... While he has a good arm, it’s not an elite one. And then there’s the mobility … there isn’t any. What little running skills Hiller had before are gone thanks to his knee problems that don’t appear to be going away completely. There was the total reconstruction in 2006, and then this off-season he needed more work done.

A cool thing about Hiller that you probably didn't know ... The All-Academic MAC star has earned a 4.0 throughout his WMU career and he has already graduated. He’s working on his MBA.

Career statistics
2005: 98-of-150, 1,334 yards, 20 TD, 3 INT, 1 rushing TD
2006: Injured
2007: 267-of-421, 3,021 yards, 20 TD, 15 INT, 2 rushing TD
2008: 339-of-522, 3,725 yards, 36 TD, 10 INT, 1 rushing TD

Statistics, information and photo provided by the Western Michigan sports information department.