Former Razorback and NFL fullback,  Peyton Hillis remains in critical condition following a swimming accident in Florida.

Many know Peyton Hillis as a Razorback or Cleveland Brown. Others know him from being on the cover of Madden 12, dad is what his kids know him as.

 Hillis is in critical condition in the ICU after nearly drowning attempting to save his kids in Pensacola Florida.

“What a great man he is to do anything to save his children,” said Janie Sterling, a former Conway educator who watched Hillis grow up through school. 

Before the Broncos, Browns or the Hogs, Hillis was a Conway Wampus Cat. 

“He was a man among boys back in the day. He was something else,” said David Grimes, Conway alum.

People watching a Conway High School basketball game on Thursday said there were proud of him then, throughout his college and pro career and definitely proud of him now – as a father who was trying to protect his kids.

Hearing the tragic news about Hillis’ accident was terrifying for those in his hometown.

“It scares you when you think of someone being in critical condition,” says Sterling. 

Grimes says it was a shock to learn of the accident.  “It’s just something you done expect but it tells you how fragile life can be.”

Hillis’ uncle says he is having issues with his lungs and kidneys, but his kids are fine.

Houston Nutt, Hillis’ coach at Arkansas, as well as former Razorbacks like Chris Gragg, aren’t surprised by his heroic actions.

“What a great thing, being a great father but also protecting those children from that dangerous ocean,” said Nutt. 

Former Hog. Chris Gragg says “a lot of former players we are all in a group message, and the first thing people were calling him was Superman. Like that’s a real-life Clark Kent. “

In Conway, Fayetville, Cleveland, Denver and other places around the nation…

Hillis graduated from Conway in 2003 and played for the hogs from 04-to-07 before being drafted by the Broncos in the 7th round of 2008.