Sunday, December 16, 2012

Delano Hill, Wolverine

Jourdan Lewis and Delano Hill at The Opening last summer
Detroit (MI) Cass Tech safety Delano Hill committed to Michigan on Saturday.  He had previously been committed to Iowa while also holding offers from Illinois, Pitt, and Syracuse.

Hill is a 6'1", 198 lb. prospect.  He claims a 4.44 forty, a 4.34 shuttle time, and a 32" vertical.  As a senior in 2012, he had 60 tackles, 2 interceptions, and 1 touchdown return.

ESPN: 3-star S, 79 grade, #23 S
Rivals: 4-star S, #23 S
Scout: 4-star S, #24 S
247 Sports: 4-star S, 90 grade, #24 S

Hill visited Michigan back in the spring, but Michigan's coaches didn't give him a ton of recruiting attention throughout the process and did not appear to be on the path to offering him a scholarship.  Iowa, which does a good job of recruiting the Detroit area, swooped in with an offer that  he accepted back in July.  The Hawkeyes had a poor season, going 4-8 as the team adjusted to several new assistant coaches.  It's unclear whether this lack of success had an effect on Hill's decision, but he was offered by the Wolverines this past week and visited Ann Arbor for a bowl practice on Friday.  By Saturday morning he had selected the Wolverines.

Cass Tech head coach Thomas Wilcher claims that Hill is the best pure athlete on his high school team, which includes several Division I prospects like cornerback Jourdan Lewis, cornerback Damon Webb, running back/linebacker Deon Drake, and running back Mikey Weber (along with several others).  Hill reportedly ran a 4.40 at Nike's The Opening in July.  His speed is well documented and shows up in games, too, which isn't always the case for guys who have good forty times.  He has good length and leaping ability, which should prove to be an asset in coverage.

My biggest question mark about Hill - and this is significant to me because it might determine his future position - is his tackling ability.  While some scouting reports tout his tackling ability, I don't see it on film.  He's not a very aggressive tackler and doesn't display a natural instinct to stay in front of runners.  Rather than squaring up ball carriers for solid hits, he tends to reach.  And while I have seen a clip or two of him being physical with shedding blocks during his senior season, that was a problem for him as a junior.

Normally, I am not a fan of moving a player back in the defense; witness the way Josh Furman has struggled with going from outside linebacker in high school to safety in college.  As a high school strong safety, moving to cornerback could be too much of a shift to overcome.  However, Hill's lack of physicality makes me think that his best position could be boundary corner.  Unless he gets significantly stronger and more aggressive, he could be a liability as the last line of defense.

At this point in the recruiting process, Hill is the type of player that often fills out a roster.  While he's not a truly elite athlete, he offers some upside due to raw athleticism and the potential to help out on special teams.  This is not a player whom you expect to come in and challenge for a starting job immediately.  He helps to fill the void left by Gareon Conley (who decommitted in favor of Ohio State) and potentially softens the blow of losing out on Seffner (FL) Armwood defensive back Leon McQuay III, an elite prospect who is also heavily considering Florida State, USC, and Vanderbilt.  This gives the Wolverines 24 commitments in the class of 2013, a group that should reach 25 or more.

TTB Rating: 71 (ratings explantion)


  1. I hope your tackling evaluation of Hill is as close as your evaluation of Jake Ryan was.

  2. You mean when I labeled Jake Ryan the best "under the radar" recruit in his class?

    1. No, when you said this.
      Ryan is stiff in the hips. He moves well for a high school linebacker, but he looks like a defensive end who's playing out of position at outside backer. He does not have great lateral speed, and I do question his tackling ability. Despite a couple highlight films I've seen, I haven't seen a single de-cleater. All of his tackles seem to be him falling on a player who's already going down or grabbing a runner and letting his 220-225 lbs. drag down the ball carrier. He doesn't have the aggressiveness I would like to see in a kid that size at the linebacker position, but he was suffering from a wrist injury, so that might have made him a bit tentative.
      I'm just messing with you.
      I love your website.

    2. Jake Ryan IS stiff in the hips even now.

  3. Sounds like a tweener destined for nickelback or special teams. But you never know - he seems like a decent athlete so he'll probably contribute in some form.

    The coaches are definitely going for second or third tier recruits at this point, guys they passed on offering initially. A real shame considering how they were turning down high caliber prospects a few months ago.

  4. Why wouldn't they hold some scholarships for 2014 when they could hopefully get higher level recruits especially when it is going to be a smaller class?

    1. Scholarships would go unused. Michigan hasn't had a full roster in several years, so it doesn't make sense to bank them.

  5. Hill is a solid prospect. The current roster already has depth and talent issues, and you need to address this issue ASAP rather then waiting a full year

  6. I dont think Hill is a third tier recruit at all...if hes 2 inches taller he is easily a top ten prospect at his position.

  7. The more I read up on this kid, the more I like about him. Everything I'm reading says he's great in run support and pretty good in coverage with possibly elite speed. Magnus, what do you think the odds are that the coaches want to fit him in at the boundary corner? I know that position has to be bigger and more physical and he strikes me as a perfect fit if he improves his coverage skills a bit.

  8. An article I read over the weekend said that Hill himself said that he will start out at CB when he arrives on campus. If he can't make the switch to CB he will go back to S.