Over the last five years, there have been plenty of elite recruits that Michigan has firmly been in the race for, two of which they’ve won out in Jabrill Peppers and Rashan Gary. The staff has done a great job selling its top overall targets and it has done it once again as the top-ranked safety in the 2019 class, five-star Booker T. Washington (OK) S Daxton Hill has committed to Michigan.
Committed‼️ #918 pic.twitter.com/Td4PyyKSED
— Dirty30 (@daxhill5) September 18, 2018
Hill is one of the best safety prospects to come out in recent memory. He’s a well built, uber-athletic, uber-talented safety prospect with elite speed (verified 4.3 forty, 4.22 shuttle and 43.6 vertical). He can cover and he can play in space. He can play centerfield, on the line or in the box thanks to his mix of sprinter speed and linebacker-like physicality. He sets the tone with his big hits and big plays. He comes down the field at 100mph (with body control) and blows up runs and screens, causing plenty of turnovers. Whether it’s through acrobatic interceptions, jumping routes, forcing and scooping up fumbles, or just laying devastating hits, there are players that just make big plays and he’s one of them.
He stars at both the safety and wide receiver position at the high school level but will play defense in college. And he’ll be on the field quickly. Whether it’s at the safety spot or viper position, or what the depth chart looks like when he gets on campus, he’s going to play thanks to his physical traits but also his mental capacity and his ability to read an offense. Look at him in the same light as Michigan’s previous five star gets in Jabrill Peppers and Rashan Gary. He’s a first-round NFL prospect and has the chance to be an absolute star in the winged helmet.
This started off as a “no way this works out” type of recruitment. Elite, five-star, top 10 players out of Oklahoma hardly ever make it out of the Big 12 let alone make it to Michigan. That is what it looked like at the start of this recruitment, which was early on in the process, once again showing the staff’s ability to target and sway elite top targets early on.
Michigan first entered the fray when the staff offered Hill back in May of 2017, joining pretty much every other big-time program in the country that offered over the next couple of months. But early on it looked like he would stay home and potentially play with his brother, Justice Hill, at Oklahoma State. It looked to be there or fellow in-state program Oklahoma. That was early on but as things started to move deeper into the recruiting process the two in-state programs started to fall off as Michigan and Alabama became the favorites.
An unofficial visit to Ann Arbor in mid-March and looked to come away very impressed with what the program had to offer, his early connections with the staff and fellow recruits, and fit in the Don Brown defense. It still wasn’t enough to really move the needle fully towards Michigan as his two visits to Tuscaloosa (one unofficial in April and an official in June) had rumors flying that the Crimson Tide were the team to beat. He’s mentioned in the past that he was close to a decision over the summer but held off. Some believe that was to Alabama but plenty of signs pointed to Michigan.
Near the beginning of his senior season, Hill looked to know exactly where he wanted to go. Alabama was the Crystal Ball favorite but the chance to play right away and his connections to the players and coaches at Michigan were two of the main deciding factors. He took an official visit to Ann Arbor for the SMU game which clearly locked in his decision as he announced his commitment to maize and blue over Alabama just two days after his visit.
And yes, this is a gigantic get for the program. Not only is Hill one of the best recruiting wins and gets in program history, he plays a position that the staff hasn’t recruited at the highest level in the last couple of years. His addition is huge for the team and recruiting class, giving the staff its 2nd five-star get in 2019.
- Height: 6’1”
- Weight: 185lbs
- Hometown (School): Tulsa, OK (Booker T. Washington)
- Notable Offers: Alabama, Oklahoma, Ohio State, Clemson, Georgia, etc.
- Rankings: Rivals (5*, #24 overall) – 247Sports (5*, #8 overall) – ESPN (4*, #14 overall)
- Composite Ranking: Five-star, #12 Overall, #1 S, #1 in Oklahoma
As for the Rest of the Class
Hill is the 23rd overall commitment in the 2019 class, the second safety commit, and the first commit out of Oklahoma. Landing the top target on the board is normally hard to top but the staff is still firmly in the race for arguably the top player in the class, DE Zach Harrison. It looks to be a Ohio State-Michigan race there with the Wolverines having a real chance to sway him away from his in-state Buckeyes. Other top names to watch on the board include ATH Quavaris Crouch, S Lewis Cine, DE George Karlaftis, WR Kyle Ford, WR Cornelius Johnson, and TE Isaiah Foskey.
As for the next name that could drop for Michigan, the offensive tackle position is one I’ll be watching. OT Trevor Keegan and OT Bryce Benhart are the top two names on the board and both would be elite gets. However, there only looks to be one spot left for an offensive lineman in this class since there already five commits on the board. Keegan has long been a name I’ve had my Crystal Ball in for but it’s not a guarantee. Benhart could be the better prospect and a name that Michigan may be surging for thanks to the need of immediate help at the position.
It could be a minute until the next 2019 commit but the names left on the board are all huge. This should be a very, very nice class for the staff.
Photo Credit: Dax Hill/Twitter