Nation's Fifth-Ranked Defensive Tackle Commits to OSU
By Tony Gerdeman
COLUMBUS, Ohio — One day after Ohio State received a verbal commitment from athlete Darron Lee, South Carolina defensive tackle Michael Hill (6-3 315) made his own decision known that he too wanted to become a Buckeye.
Rather than go through with some hat-based press conference, Hill, who was scheduled to visit Clemson on Wednesday, simply told his high school coach Paul Sutherland that he wanted to commit to the Buckeyes, so Sutherland made the call to the Ohio State coaches in the morning to give them the good news.
Rated the fifth-best defensive tackle in the 2013 class according to Rivals, Hill's offer list is a who's who of SEC teams. Along with the offer from the Buckeyes, Hill also had offers from Alabama, Auburn, Florida, LSU, Ole Miss, South Carolina, Tennessee and Vanderbilt. Michigan, Clemson and Georgia Tech also offered him.
Hill, who is a four-star prospect according to all four major recruiting services, finished 2011 with 81 tackles, 25 tackles for loss and six sacks.
Scout.com ranks Hill the top prospect in the state of South Carolina, and thinks that he could even play defensive end in a 3-4 defense.
"Hill is a very athletic defensive lineman and he has the ability to play inside or outside on the next level depending on what type of front he plays in," states Scout's player evaluation.
"He gets off the ball well, he has a quick first step, and he gets in the backfield often. He is very strong in the lower-body, but can still add strength in the upper-body. He plays with good pad level for an interior defensive line and he re-directs well."
Amazingly, despite growing up in South Carolina, Hill has been an Ohio State fan since he was a kid. Even before he had an Ohio State offer, he told Rivals.com in early March that the Buckeyes were his favorite and there really was no second or third. Smartly, the Buckeye coaches quickly responded with an official offer.
"This is the age of ESPN," Sutherland told the Anderson Independent Mail in Anderson, South Carolina. "For some reason, growing up that was his favorite team to watch on television. It makes no sense to me or you, but that's when he was a 300-pound ninth grader."
In-state powers Clemson and South Carolina recruited him the hardest, and for good reason, but it was Urban Meyer and Mike Vrabel who made the biggest impact. Now they will reap the benefits of a player who is just scratching the surface of his potential.
"No one can believe the kid just turned 17 years old," Sutherland told the Independent Mail. "Playing as a high school junior, 16-years old, he was 6-foot-3, 315 pounds and wears a size 17 shoe. Obviously his upside is tremendous, but to be a three-technique defensive tackle who is a space eater with his size—he also had 25 tackles for a loss, his size and to be as light on his feet as he is separates him."
With Hill in the fold, the Buckeyes now have four defensive linemen committed in the 2013 class and may be looking to add more. Hill is joined by fellow defensive tackle Billy Price, who committed shortly after Signing Day. Defensive ends Tracy Sprinkle and Joey Bosa round out the 2013 front four.
Even though the 2013 class is far from over, the amount of talent that is being compiled on the defensive line for Ohio State is getting to be quite impressive. The Buckeyes have landed at least one five-star defensive lineman in each of the last three classes per Scout, and have received commitments from eleven total linemen rated four stars or better.
And don't look now, but the Buckeyes are also firmly in the hunt for 2014's top defensive end Da'Shawn Hand out of Woodbridge, Virginia. Some services are already labeling him the top overall prospect in the nation.
Hill is the 14th commitment in the 2013 class, with room for perhaps as many as six more prospects. This class now has seven different states represented by the fourteen different commitments.
1. Cameron Burrows (6-1 195), DB Trotwood, Ohio
2. Jalin Marshall (6-0 190), ATH Middletown, Ohio
3. Billy Price (6-4 280), DT Youngstown, Ohio
4. Eli Woodard (6-1 185) CB Voorhees, New Jersey
5. Evan Lisle (6-6 265) OT Centerville, Ohio
6. Ezekiel Elliott (6-0 200) RB St. Louis, Missouri
7. Jayme Thompson (6-2 184) DB Toledo, Ohio
8. Marcus Baugh (6-4 229) TE Riverside, California
9. Tracy Sprinkle (6-4 270) DL Elyria, Ohio
10. J.T. Barrett (6-1 209) QB Wichita Falls, Texas
11. Joey Bosa (6-5 260) DE Fort Lauderdale, Florida
13. Darron Lee (6-2 205) ATH New Albany, Ohio
12. Johnny Townsend (6-2 200) P Orlando, Florida
14. Michael Hill (6-3 315) DT Pendleton, South Carolina
Donate by Check :
1380 King Avenue
Columbus, Ohio 43212
Help us bring you more Buckeye coverage. Donate to the-Ozone.
Click here to email this the-Ozone feature to a friend...or even a foe.
(c) 2010 The O-Zone, O-Zone Communications, Inc. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, rebroadcast,rewritten, or redistributed.