A massive recruiting week heading into the early signing period officially kicked off for the Texas Longhorns on Thursday by securing the pledge of five-star linebacker Anthony Hill, who was once committed to the Texas A&M Aggies.
Hill was originally scheduled to visit Austin and College Station this weekend, but an in-home visit from the Texas staff helped change his plans.
The No. 1 linebacker in the country and the No. 4 player in the state was one of the top priorities for many teams, the Longhorns included, during the summer flurry of visits. Hill took all of his visits, taking in the scene at Alabama, Oklahoma, USC, A&M, and obviously Texas. Hill named a final two of Texas and Texas A&M following the visits and planned on taking his decision deeper into the cycle, but made a surprise commitment to the Aggies after two short visits to College Station.
After Hill announced he was backing off of his commitment to A&M, a flurry of predictions came in indicating that he would end up in burnt orange.
Currently ranked the No. 22 player overall in the 247Sports composite ranking, Hill would be the highest-ranked defensive player signed by Texas since linebacker Malik Jefferson in the 2015 class, who was ranked No. 10 overall. His addition to the class moves Texas up to No. 3 in the overall team rankings with 22 pledges, behind only Alabama and Georgia.
Hill will step into a Texas linebacker room that is in need of Day 1 difference-makers, with DeMarvion Overshown and Diamonte Tucker-Dorsey both in their fifth years of eligibility.
Analysis (by Daniel Seahorn):
Hill has been a known commodity on the recruiting scene since his freshman year and since then he has become one of the most decorated linebacker recruits in the country. He is already a two-time high school All-American with a state championship on his resume and he is the heart and soul of a talented Denton Ryan football team. Hill is listed at 6’2, 225 pounds, which gives him good measurables for the position. He is featured as an off the ball linebacker, but sometimes they will walk him out to the edge in some situations. How athletic is Hill? On tape it shows him taking a Wildcat quarterback snap and housing it from 70 yards out. If that wasn’t enough, they then lined up at running back in a full house backfield look and he takes the handoff in from 50 yards out. The big fella and run a little bit, and he could probably be featured in some jumbo packages at the next level if a coach wanted to get creative. I don’t have him in the same category as I did for Harold Perkins last year (super rare athleticism for an LB), but he is no slouch. Possesses good closing speed once he commits and puts his foot in the ground. He is at his best when he is attacking downhill and possesses the athleticism to pursue from sideline to sideline. He is a knockback tackler, who also does a solid job of wrapping up and getting ball carriers to the turf. Would like to see more of him in coverage drops to check his comfort levels and proficiency, but he did have two picks in 2021, including pick six. Can get caught up in the wash at times in pursuit, but his ball production is very good so he makes way more plays than he misses.
Hill is the caliber of player that has the ability to push for rotational snaps from the moment he arrives to campus and has the ability to be a piece you can build around defensively.