Texas linebacker Anthony Hill is a player who could upend commonly accepted beliefs about freshman. He can make an impact right away.
Many exercise caution when projecting freshmen performance. Last offseason, some dismissed a breakout season for incoming left tackle Kelvin Banks. We simply looked at the player. Over that offseason I stated that a freshman Kelvin Banks was the Longhorns’ best shot of slowing the Alabama pass rush. Natural talent matters.
I imagine similar doubt circulated prior to a freshman breakout season by former Texas safety Caden Sterns and linebacker Malik Jefferson. Freshmen aren’t supposed to be great right away, but some players aren’t just freshmen.
Anthony Hill is the best linebacker prospect to come to Austin since Jefferson joined Charlie Strong in 2015. He could make that kind of impact and more in a defensive system that is developing linebacker Jaylan Ford to his potential.
Once again many are hesitant to project Hill to start this season on the Forty Acres. We might look back at those concerns as unfounded. Time and time again, five-star talents have made an immediate impact at Texas and elsewhere. Hill is certainly that kind of prospect out of high school.
There’s nothing wrong with taking a wait-and-see approach. Even so, we’re not going to rule out a huge season for the Denton linebacker. If his readiness matches his talent, Hill could have a special season for Texas in 2023.