“He’s the only Razorback to be on a Madden cover and a lot of people know about that and just to hear something bad happen to a good person, it makes your heart go out for them.”
Former Razorback tight end Chris Gragg is one of thousands of people rooting for Peyton Hillis and his recovery.
“He’s a fighter and a winner,” says former Arkansas Football Head Coach Houston Nutt, “And when I heard it, I was just hoping that everyone is going to be ok and hoping for the best. I am hearing thing are better so I am hoping that continues to be.”
Vacationing with family in Pensacola, Florida, we’ve learned Hillis was involved in a swimming accident, helicoptered to a hospital, and remains in the ICU.
“What a great thing, being a great father but also protecting those children from that dangerous ocean that if you get too far out you get into the riptide or the currents.” adds Nutt.
On Thursday, news of Hillis in the hospital spread quickly amongst those close to him.
“A lot of former players we are all in a group message, and the first thing people were calling him was super man. Like that’s a real life Clark Kent.” says Gragg.
“This doesn’t comes as a surprise, that’s who he is to run out there and save his kids is exactly what any dad would do and it’s right in line with his Character.”
Family friend Jason Everett became Hillis’ youth pastor in 1998. He got the phone call about the accident on Thursday.
“Tragic because Peyton is such a good young man and has always represented our state well, our city of Conway well and has such a wonderful family.” he continued.
Everett and his family lived in Northwest Arkansas when Hillis was playing for the Razorbacks, and he knows the outpouring of support means a lot of to the Hillis family.
“We are a small state and I’m actually glad of that because it’s times like this you see the true family come together and support each other.”
And like many others, they have too have a message of support to share.
“I want to let them know that I am praying for them, I’m praying for the family and especially praying for Peyton. I hope everything goes well and he comes back stronger and this can be another thing he can give a testimony about.” says Gragg.
“Peyton I just want you to know that my family have kept you in our prayers and I have no doubt you are going to come through this because you’ve always been an overcomer, you’ve always been someone that surprised everybody.”
We will continue to follow this story and update it when any new information becomes available.