The next Jarvis Jenkins?


by - Senior Writer -
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Pendleton’s Michael Hill Michael Hill
Defensive Tackle
6-3, 315
Pendleton, SC

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is a player that has grabbed the attention of defensive-minded coaches across the Southeast, and University of Alabama head coach Nick Saban even made a call last week to personally deliver an official offer.

Hill is a 6-3, 315-pound defensive tackle that his high school head coach says has plenty of potential.

“As far as the next level goes, it’s just the absolute potential he has that gets college coaches excited,” Pendleton head coach Paul Sutherland told TigerNet. “He has that size, and he wears a size 17 shoe, and he is still just 16 years old. He won't be 17 until late May. He is very athletic, and when you look at him you might think he is just 260 pounds. He is in that 5.1 (40-yard time) range, and he is very explosive. Playing as a 3-shade this past season, he had 25 tackles for loss. That position gets double-teamed about every play, but he still made all those plays. He is one of those big space-eaters you look for at that position, but he is a space-eater that makes plays.”

Sutherland said that Hill even reminds him of a recent Clemson defensive player.

“From a Clemson standpoint, he would remind you of Jarvis Jenkins,” Sutherland said. “That would be the most recent one. Michael – at this stage – is a little bit bigger than Jarvis was. He is just one of those kids that was born to play inside. There is no doubt about it.”

The 4-star prospect has offers from Clemson, Alabama, Auburn, Florida and South Carolina, while Tennessee, Georgia Tech and Vanderbilt are all asking for official visits and showing interest. Sutherland said the Tigers have made it a team effort in recruiting a player that lives just down the road from Death Valley.

“Dabo [Swinney] and Brent [Venables] came by here less than a week after Brent was named defensive coordinator,” Sutherland said. “Chad Morris is his main recruiter, but Dan Brooks is heavily involved in it. Marion Hobby has been by. It has been a team effort from them. And we hear from a lot of schools that would love to offer, but they wonder if he isn’t going to just stay at home to play.”

Sutherland said it didn’t take long for him to notice that he had a special player on his hands.

“About midway through his sophomore year I realized that he could play at the next level,” he said. “You look at him on a daily basis, and you realize he is a pretty big kid. And then you get him on the scales and it’s like, ‘Good gracious.’ He just looks so athletic but he has that size. I sat down with him and his dad, and I told them that I would get him on some campuses that summer.

“I took him to Clemson first, because their camp was first, and then I took him to South Carolina. Both of them said right away that he had a chance. And then he just took off his junior year, and made so many plays, and it became apparent that he could really play. It’s one thing to be a big space-eater, but it’s another thing to get off blocks and pursue down the line and make a play.”

Sutherland said that Hill is a “quiet kid” who just lets his play do his talking, and who prefers the quiet home life.

“He never says a word, not in school or in practice or out on the field during games,” Sutherland said. “He didn’t grow up a real fan of any school, but when it comes down it, I will be shocked if he goes far from home. He hasn’t given me any indication he is leaning one way or the other. He made the Honor Roll this time, and his grades are solid. We have him in SAT and ACT prep classes. Whoever gets him is getting a good kid and a good player. For a kid his age to have that mass and it not be baby fat is very unusual.”




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