Tuesday, February 10, 2009

the recruit: Will Hill

Name: Will Hill
Position: DE
Hometown: Williamsburg
School: Lafayette
Height: 6'4"
Weight: 260

ESPN: 73
Rivals: 5.6; three stars; #34 strongside DE; #28 in VA
Scout: three stars; #86 DE

Will Hill's was an interesting recruiting battle, and just the kind we Wahoos have been wishing we could win more of. Hill's looks from the recruiting services were all kinds of weak - that 73 from ESPN is basically a high two-star. Which is weird, because you'd think Tennessee, Penn State, and Michigan would not be offering two-stars. Michigan in fact was thought to be perhaps the early leader for his services, because of family connections up there, but things cooled off and four schools emerged over the summer: UVA, Tennessee, Maryland, and Penn State. Which is a tough group of schools to fend off.

So having done so, what do we have? A great student, first off. Nice to see, in a time where sometimes you don't know what you're getting in the classroom. Hill had excellent grades and enrolled early, a rarity at UVA and something that will give him a big boost against his competition for playing time.

Hill's pass-rushing skills were repeatedly praised by the coaches during the recruiting process, and his fourteen sacks his senior season back that up. However, at 260 pounds, there's always the hints of a move inside, and some teams were recruiting him with that idea in mind. ESPN thinks that might be the best move. Funny thing about the highlight film is that it says the same thing. There are a couple of his sacks on there, but it's mostly run-stopping, with Hill wearing down the linemen and making the tackle, usually (since it's a highlight film) behind the line of scrimmage. Right now Hill is a DE, but when there are four of them in the class and zero defensive tackles, and not really that many DT's on the actual roster, you wonder.

Whether or not Hill moves to DT, there's definitely a chance for him to see the field this year. The depth chart at neither D-line spot is so deep that there isn't room for impact from a true freshman, and Hill's presence at spring practice will give him an edge over the rest of the class.

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