Batman and Robin. Simon and Garfunkel. Hill and Grothe?
It doesn’t have the appeal of a blockbuster movie or a Top 40 hit, but the story of the relationship built between wide receiver Amp Hill and quarterback Matt Grothe can rival those classic tandems.
The pair connected on numerous occasions at USF’s Spring Game on Saturday, including four times on one drive in the second half. But while their names are relatively new to USF fans, Hill and Grothe have known each other for more than a year.
“One day we were just walking through the hallway at the facility, and someone said, ‘Hey, this is Amp Hill,'” Grothe said. “Ever since then we’re just talking every once in awhile, and we hang out.”
The two – Grothe as a redshirt freshman and Hill as a transfer – spent most of last season on the scout team working with each other.
“We got together when we came in for the scout team last year,” Hill said. “We kind of built a relationship.”
Now the two are good friends, sharing both a love of football and a good laugh.
“We joke around. I might clown him when we see each other on campus,” Hill said. “He’s fun to be around.”
No subject is off limits between the two. Grothe refers to Hill as “gimp” because of Hill’s knee troubles of late, while Hill constantly rags on Grothe by referring to him as a “goofy guy.” The pair also has strange inside jokes.
“We’ll be walking somewhere, and he’ll just give me this look,” Grothe said. “(Then) he’ll turn around and come back and look at me again. I’m like, ‘What?’ He’s like, ‘Nothing.'”
Not only have the two made a connection on the field, but they have also made one off the field.
“Like I’ll be walking somewhere where I’ll never expect to see another football player, like in Publix or something, and I’ll just happen to run into him,” Grothe said.
Hill can’t explain why he and Grothe have many chance encounters.
“Always,” said Hill of how often he sees Grothe. “We just seem to see each other.”
Maybe they can’t explain it, but on Saturday, Grothe saw Hill many times on his way to 167 yards passing, and Grothe helped Hill lead the team in both receptions (8) and receiving yards with 87.
“I just always have him in the back of my head when I go into a play,” Grothe said. “If something breaks down, I know that Amp’s got some of the best hands on the team – if not the best.
“We just have a connection because we know that he wants the ball, and I know that he thinks that I’m his favorite quarterback to get it to him.”