When Rashod Hill cleaned out his Jagu­ars lock­er last No­vem­ber, there wasn’t a thought in his mind he was leav­ing to re­place a $59 mil­lion man.

Ri­ley Reiff, the Vi­kings’ big free-a­gent ad­di­tion to re­place Matt Kalil, has eith­er watched or not at­tend­ed five train­ing camp prac­tices since suf­fer­ing a back in­ju­ry last week and leav­ing on the rear of a golf cart.

The next man up has been Hill, whom the Vi­kings plucked off the Jagu­ars’ prac­tice squad last sea­son.

Jack­son­ville want­ed to keep Hill, so the Jaguars of­fered him a spot on their ac­tive ros­ter. He in­stead chose Min­ne­so­ta be­cause of the op­por­tu­ni­ty to help a then-beleaguered, in­ju­ry-­rid­dled line.

Hill didn’t foresee, how­ever, he’d be the start­ing left tack­le dur­ing camp.

“Nah, I didn’t think that, man,” said Hill, 25. “Who would say that? They’d be ly­ing.”

Vi­kings coach­es hand-picked him out of an in­ex­pe­ri­enced crop of tack­les that in­cludes Jer­e­mi­ah Sirles and Willie Bea­vers to take Reiff’s place with the first team in prac­tice.

Coach Mike Zim­mer wants to see a start­ing line­up of of­fen­sive line­men string to­gether 16 games, but the five expected starters have yet to even prac­tice together once.

So they’ve turned to Hill, a Jack­son­ville, Fla., na­tive and form­er schol­ar­ship basket­ball play­er who wants to one day be a po­lice of­fi­cer. Hill’s jour­ney to the Vi­kings left tack­le spot be­gan when the foot­ball coach at Ed White High School re­cruit­ed him away from the basket­ball team. The 250-pound seni­or still earned some schol­ar­ship of­fers in that sport.

“I used to be a cen­ter, a for­ward. I can drib­ble and ev­er­y-­ thing,” Hill said. “I was good at basket­ball, but this pays the bills.

“This is what I do now.”

Hill re­ceived bet­ter schol­ar­ship of­fers for foot­ball from Rut­gers and Southern Miss. He chose the lat­ter and ma­jored in crim­i­nal jus­tice, which was on his mind long be­fore pro­tecting quarterbacks.

“I al­ways want­ed to be a po­lice of­fi­cer,” Hill said. “I al­ways liked them grow­ing up. I al­ways thought it was the cool­est thing as a kid.”

He’ll just need to con­vince Mrs. Tara Hill, his wife of 13 months, with their fam­i­ly of four chil­dren.

“You know my wife is like, ‘Nah they’re kill­ing po­lice and all this these days,’ ” Hill said. “But I al­ways got that to fall back on at home. And I’d love it. It’s flex­i­ble. Spend time with my kids. I’m a real fam­i­ly guy and I want to see my kids grow up.”

Hill is cur­rent­ly asked to pro­tect the blind side of quarterback Sam Brad­ford from Pro Bowl de­fen­sive end Ev­er­son Grif­fen and fel­low end Dan­ielle Hunter, last year’s team sack lead­er with 12.5.

Hill, with long arms and a 6-6, 309-pound build that says NFL tack­le, looks the part on the prac­tice field. How­ever, limi­ta­tions be­gin with just 49 snaps of NFL ex­peri­ence, which came in the Vi­kings’ sea­son fi­na­le against the Bears.

Should the Vi­kings need a long-term re­place­ment at tack­le, they may con­sider out­side help un­less Hill is a very quick study. General Man­ag­er Rick Spiel­man didn’t draft any tack­les this spring, in­stead ad­dress­ing the in­te­ri­or line in the draft af­ter sign­ing two start­ing tack­les in free a­gen­cy.

Hill sees eye to eye with his com­pe­ti­tion at the line, but some­times once the ball is snapped he shows how far he has to go yet. He’ll quick­ly ad­just his feet and trap Grif­fen in a spin move. Then on the next play Hunter will blow past him with­in a cou­ple of sec­onds.

“It’s tough,” right tack­le Mike Rem­mers said. “I mean any spot is tough, es­pe­cial­ly for a new guy, a young guy. But he’s doing a great job, get­ting bet­ter each day.”

The Vi­kings still see some­thing in Hill, and it’s hard to miss. He’s a hulk­ing hu­man be­ing with the meas­ur­a­ble traits to pos­si­bly one day mold into a re­li­able NFL start­er.

As of Wednes­day, Hill’s fu­ture is now un­til Reiff re­turns from the back in­ju­ry that’s keep­ing him out.

“[Hill] has cer­tain­ly benefited from more reps than we thought he’d get against, re­al­ly, our front-line guys on de­fense,” of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor Pat Shur­mur said.

“He’s mak­ing steady prog­ress. We re­al­ly like the path he’s on. I think we have more than a month be­fore we play New Or­le­ans. There’s a lot of wa­ter that’s got to run un­der the bridge.”