The Arena Football League announced that Tampa Bay Storm wide receiver Joe Hills was named 2017 Wide Receiver of the Year on Tuesday. Hills now becomes the first receiver to win the award multiple times, as well as the first to do it in consecutive years.
Hills (6’4″, 220 lbs., Tennessee State) ended his sixth AFL season with a run into history, returning to the Storm after spending the previous two seasons with the Jacksonville Sharks.
Hills began his career with Tampa Bay, joining the team late in the 2012 season and staying through the end of 2014. His current streak of consecutive regular season games with a touchdown catch began in that rookie year.
On July 8, in a game at Baltimore versus the Brigade, Hills broke Damian Harrell‘s decade-old league record of 78 consecutive games with a scoring catch, finishing the season at 81 games and counting.
Not satisfied with only holding the record, Hills had another explosive season that ended ranking in the top 10 in several receiving categories. Hills led the league in:
- Receptions per Game – 9.9
- Receptions – 129
- Receiving Yards – 1,353
- Receiving Touchdowns – 36
In leading the league, Hills rewrote the record books for the storied Tampa Bay franchise, finishing in the top five all time in these categories:
- Career Receiving Yards – 5,194
- Career Receiving Touchdowns – 129
- Career Receptions – 401
- Points in a Single Season – 228
- Touchdowns in a Single Season – 37
The single season points and touchdowns are tied for third with Tyrone Timmons. Also, they now give Hills the top three single-season performances all time for the Storm in both categories (42 TD, 262 points in 2013; 38 TD, 232 points in 2014; 37 TD, 228 points in 2017).