Jim Harbaugh got a major — and surprising — recruiting win to start the early signing period.
Just 11 days ago, five-star safety Daxton Hill flipped his verbal commitment from Michigan to Alabama, delivering a major blow to Harbaugh’s 2019 class. However, with the signing period open on Wednesday morning, Hill surprised many by sending his national letter of intent to Michigan.
[National Signing Day: Sign up for Rivals, get free team gear]
Welcome to Michigan, ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ safety Daxton Hill! @daxhill5
— Michigan Football (@UMichFootball) December 19, 2018
Hill, a native of Tulsa, Oklahoma, immediately vaults back atop Michigan’s recruiting haul as the top-rated player in this class. Hill, listed at 6-foot-1 and 190 pounds, is rated by Rivals.com as the nation’s top safety and the No. 1 player from Oklahoma. Overall, Hill is ranked 24th in the 2019 class.
Hill, the brother of Oklahoma State running back Justice Hill, originally committed to Michigan back in September after visiting campus, but changed course on Dec. 8 and announced his pledge to the Crimson Tide. But all along, Harbaugh and the Michigan staff continued to recruit Hill — and it paid off.
There were rumblings that Hill may not sign during the early period and instead hold off his decision for a few more months. Instead, after Harbaugh visited him in-home in Oklahoma last week, Hill made the decision to become a Wolverine.
As far as what Michigan is getting from a football standpoint with Hill, there are reasons to make the comparison to recent Wolverine Jabrill Peppers. Like Peppers, Hill has elite playmaking skills from not just the defensive back position, but also in the return game and he can do some things offensively. He brings great size and speed to the safety position. He covers like a cornerback and hits like a linebacker.
What makes Hill truly stand out, though, is the football IQ he brings to the game. When I went out and saw his Booker T. Washington team play this past season Hill was always around the football, and when his team needed a big play he delivered with a 50-yard jet sweep and a pick-six on successive drives.
Hill becomes Michigan’s highest-rated signee since wide receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones (No. 12) in 2017 and defensive lineman Rashan Gary (No. 1) in 2016.
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