MISSOULA — Caleb Hill went into the Montana football team's first meeting under Bobby Hauck as a quarterback.
He came out as a tight end.
"They thought that I could adjust well to it and as long as I put on a little weight — which I've already gained some of that," Hill said, adding that he's gained 10 pounds and is up to 225. "... I want to get back home to Texas playing for a national championship so if that's what it takes, that's what it takes."
Hill — a 6-foot-4 rising senior — played quarterback for nearly his entire football career, with the exception of five games during his sophomore season of high school at Little River-Academy. For five games, Hill said he suited up as a wide receiver and a safety before being shifted back to quarterback.
Hill credits both being a three-sport high school athlete as well as his strong family base with helping him with the recent position transition.
"When I told them the news, being honest, all of us were maybe a little upset. I know I wanted to be a college Division I quarterback but this is all in God's plan, and if he wants me to be a tight end, then I'll be the best tight end that I can be," Hill said. "My dad's super excited to see me play, see me on the field, whether it be at quarterback, tight end, holder, wherever."
New tight ends coach Jace Schillinger is happy to have Hill in his tight ends room, even though he's new to the position.
"It's a natural position for him," Schillinger said. "... He's an ultimate team guy. I think no matter what, he was OK making that position (change) because whatever's best for the team, he was perfectly fine doing. We're just glad he took on that challenge, and he's going to be a nice fit for us and a nice body to play here at that position."
Schillinger added that Hill's one of the most athletic players in his tight ends room as far as being able to get outside in space and make some plays after catches.
Montana needed someone at that position, as Colin Bingham was the only tight end type player left from last year's depth chart. The other two H-wide receivers — Bob Stitt's version of a tight end — who had significant playing time last year were outgoing seniors Makena Simis and Josh Horner.
"Coach said that they needed me," Hill said. "We really only had Bingham."
Because of that, Bingham, a rising junior, has stepped up into a leadership role.
"He's a very good leader," Schillinger said of Bingham. "As far as in the room, he has a nice rapport with the guys. ... He's played a lot of downs for the program already. He's another football kid that's been around football his whole life and is very savvy at that."
That position group needs that leader, as there are only five tight ends going through spring ball. Four of them are new to the position or are underclassmen.
The other three tight ends listed on the roster are rising sophomore Trase Le Texier and rising redshirt freshmen Matt Rensvold and Bryson Deming. Rensvold and Deming shifted over from wide receiver while Le Texier switched over from linebacker.
"It's fun having someone to teach," Bingham said. "Teaching's the best way to solidify knowledge so that's really helpful for us. It's helpful just to help them out. It feels good."
Even though Hill's a full year older than Bingham, he appreciates having Bingham around to learn from.
"He's played this his whole life, so just having him help me, that goes a long way," Hill said.
" ... I know I can do it. Let's just go do it."