There was a time in Perry Hills’ life when football and wrestling were on a relatively equal plane.

The Pittsburgh Central Catholic quarterback and all-state wrestler eventually picked football as his sport of choice, committing to Maryland last summer. Based on his senior season with the Vikings, it appears that his decision was a good one.

“He was great – his leadership, his arm strength is incredible, and he knows the game,” said Pittsburgh Central Catholic coach Terry Totten. “He turned into a fantastic runner. He had some long runs for us that broke games open. Just an overall good player.”

Hills brought toughness to a PCC squad that finished the 2011 season 11-1, with an appearance in the Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League Class AAAA semifinals. The Vikings’ season opener set the table for Hills’ impressive senior campaign.

“He got us out front in a big game playing Archbishop Wood, a great football team,” Totten said. “He took us about 80 yards, just took us to the deep part of their field and just completely turned the football game around. He kind of sealed the win for us.”

Hills’ calm demeanor, drive after drive, against the Philadelphia-area powerhouse propelled PCC to a 20-17 victory. No matter how highly touted of an opponent PCC played, Totten knew he would always get Hills’ best.

“I think he read defenses real well,” Totten said. “I think he took care of the football. His leadership role increased. He became a senior, so he made improvements.”

Totten said Hills finished the season with about 2,000 yards passing, 13 touchdown passes and two interceptions. The future Terp also rushed for four scores. The Vikings offense is mostly pro-style, but they do run multiple fronts, giving Hills good preparation for his college future.

“I’d still consider him a dropback, but he certainly can take it and go when he has to,” Totten said. “He’s got the ability and he’s getting bigger, so he doesn’t mind getting hit. I do believe he could become a dual-threat guy.”

The most frequently cited attribute Hills receives praise for is his toughness – which isn’t surprising given his wrestling background. Totten said he would have started Hills on defense if not for the injury risks that come with playing quarterback. Needless to say the Vikings coach has big expectations for his signal caller in College Park.

“They think his upside is tremendous,” Totten said. “He’s going to be about a 6-2, 240-pounder who can run. He is getting better and better. I think his potential is off the charts. I think they got themselves a good quarterback who for four years will help that program.”