Ahead of the Early Signing Period, Texas will take some major momentum into recruiting’s biggest week after a commitment from Denton (Texas) Ryan five-star linebacker Anthony Hill on Thursday night.
Hill, who has been Texas’ top defensive target since he was offered ahead of his sophomore season, was previously committed to Texas A&M before he pulled his pledge from the Aggies in November.
The third-ranked defender in the state of Texas, according to Rivals, had been committed to Texas A&M since late July following his official visit to College Station. However, the Aggies’ lack of success this season was not enough for Hill and his family to stay committed, according to a source.
As a result, Texas immediately emerged as the new frontrunner after finishing second in his recruitment the first time around. The Longhorns capitalized on that momentum by getting him on campus immediately following his decommitment from the Aggies and landing his commitment just a month later following his in-home visit with the Texas staff.
Texas’ recruitment of Hill heated up as soon as the contact period began for the class of 2023 in September 2021, and the pursuit was good enough to not only give Texas an official visit this past summer, but it was also enough to put the Longhorns in Hill’s top two ahead of his initial commitment.
Steve Sarkisian and defensive coordinator Pete Kwiatkowski remained persistent in his recruitment even after his commitment, as they made it up to the north Dallas suburb of Denton to see Hill play early in his senior season while also maintaining consistent lines of communication. Upon Texas A&M’s season going downhill as the fall went on, Texas quietly started to push for the flip.
Hill joins Texas’ 2023 class as its second five-star prospect, joining the nation’s No. 1 prospect Arch Manning. At 6-foot-2, 228 pounds, Hill is ranked as the No. 12 overall prospect and the No. 1 linebacker in the country for the class of 2023, according to Rivals.
Texas enters the final week ahead of the Early Signing Period in the top five of the 2023 Rivals team rankings and No. 1 in the Big 12.
Hill is one of the more violent and versatile defenders in the entire country, as he shows a mean streak in the pass rush and has improved as time has gone on in coverage. There is potential for Hill to put his hand in the dirt as a defensive end, but his ability in space as a true form tackler makes him just as valuable in the second level.
In his first two seasons at Denton Ryan as the full-time starter, Hill totaled 236 tackles including 29 for loss and 11 sacks. He was also able to notch four pass breakups and four forced fumbles.
At Texas, the Longhorns will have an immediate need at the linebacker position following DeMarvion Overshown‘s departure to the NFL Draft, and Hill has the requisite size and ability to step into Austin as a day one starter. Hill’s ability to fill the gap, drop back in second level zone coverage and rush the passer will make him an asset that Texas can use immediately.