Another week has come and gone, and we're rolling on with our 2013 recruiting profiles. Today, we take a look at DT Michael Hill from Pendleton, SC. As we hit 88 mph in our Scarlet and Gray DeLorean (yes, I know it's stainless steel, but we're splitting hairs on that when we're talking time travel in a DeLorean) a definite trend has developed with this group--great players, solid character, with generally a low drama recruitment. Hill fits all of those traits, but he also adds another one that is new to Ohio State recruiting under Urban Meyer, and that is talent coming from places that aren't generally considered traditional recruiting hotbeds for Ohio State. So let's take a look at how the first South Carolina recruit since Aram Olson found his way to Columbus.
40 yd dash: Three technique DT's don't run 40's, son. They plug holes and eat people.
High School: Pendleton High School, Pendleton, SC
Michael Hill's story is a pretty straight forward one, but one that had a little twist, thanks to 24 cable sports access. Hill, from Pendleton, SC, became one of the top ranked players not only in his state, but in the country (#2 player in the state of SC, #15 ranked DT in the country via 247 composite rankings). When a kid comes from a state that has not one, but two, national powers in it (Clemson and South Carolina ain't no power PAAAAAWWWWWLLL), and that recruit is one of the top ranked players in the state, it's generally assumed that a kid like Hill would go to either Clemson or South Carolina.
But both Dabo Swinney and the Ol' Ball Coach had a lot of competition, not only from Ohio State, but Alabama, Florida, Georgia Tech, and Michigan. They all pursued Hill hard, but Ohio Sate had a surprising advantage: Hill grew up an Ohio State fan, thanks in large part to modern day cable sports that made watching the Buckeyes on a weekly basis a fairly simple thing. And although the home state schools were recruiting him hard, Hill says his commitment to the Buckeyes seemed like a natural choice:
I visited Ohio State as soon as I got out of school last summer and they really stood out. I visited Tennessee, South Carolina, LSU, Florida, and Alabama in that same span, but I kept thinking about Ohio State. I just knew that was the school I needed to commit to.
First, it was Urban Meyer. He is a great coach and he really showed me how things were going to be if I came up there with him. A lot of things stood out to me when I was up there visiting too. It is a big college campus, but it is a tight community up there. I really liked that. I also like how they are strong in Finance because that is what I am looking to major in. I just seemed to fit in there and that is what is most important to me.
After being named to the Shrine Bowl and the Army All-American Bowl, Hill's season was cut short due to a torn ligament in his hand. Although it didn't affect his recruitment or scholarship to Ohio State, the injury did keep him out of the two all star games. And it came to symbolize, in many respects, Pendleton's season--an immensely talented team that was hamstrung with key injuries all year. And although his senior year was cut short, Hill had surgery on his finger, and it had healed well. There are no medical restrictions on Hill, and the injury should be no problem moving forward.
Four things are playing into Michael's chances to play early and often in 2013--Meyer's abhorrence to use the redshirt unless it's a medical necessity, his immense talent, both interior defensive linemen from last year, Garrett Goebel and Jonathan Hankins have graduated, and there isn't a lot of depth at defensive tackle. Had Hill been in the class of 2012, he would've been one of the heralded defensive linemen that came in with that class, right along with Noah Spence, Adolphus Washington, and Tommy Schutt. And with so much focus on the skill players in the 2013 class, it would be easy for the casual fan to overlook Michael Hill.
And that would be a mistake for said casual fan.
When you watch Hill on tape, you notice he has an exceptional first step, which gives him an advantage over the offensive lineman opposing him. He also has very good balance for a guy of his size, and uses it to his advantage when coming off the block after initial contact. When he is met head on by a lineman, he possesses above average upper body strength, and does a very good job to move his opponent to where he wants to go, shed him, and make the tackle.
When he does win the position and leverage battle (Science AND Physics, people), Hill can now dictate what he wants to do in terms of whether to bull rush, use a swim move, etc., and forces his opponent to react to what he is doing. In that situation, Hill wins those battles. His size, along with his speed, will almost have to force the offensive line to double team him on a regular basis, which means OSU opponents will find themselves in the unenviable task of making what I hope will be a Sophie's Choice for them--see if their the interior line can go one on one with Hill, or give Noah Spence and/or Adolphus Washington a one on one situation coming from the end.
Good luck with that.
Highlight Jam Session:
One Of These Things Is Blatantly False:
Michael is the first Ohio State recruit from South Carolina since 2006
Michael was the first player from Pendleton ever selected to the Army All American Bowl
- Michael is going to major in Finance
- His coach encouraged him to sign with OSU right away