MI DB Delano Hill, listed as 6'1, 190ish, committed to Michigan on Saturday with fellow Technician David Dawson. The Cass Tech safety had been committed to Iowa for a while, but flipped shortly after receiving his offer from Michigan. The fact that he flipped isn't as surprising as the timing, which is more immediate than many (myself included) expected.
Hill committed to Iowa back in April, choosing the Hawkeyes over offers from Illinois and Syracuse. Hill seemed to have chosen Iowa because of his relationship with Iowa freshmen S Ruben Lile and LB Laron Taylor, both former Technicians. He maintained throughout the process that he was open to other schools courting him, but the best alternative that came through for him (until Michigan) was from Pittsburgh, whom he visited.
That it took this long for Michigan (and other teams) to offer Hill is a bit of a mystery to me. His junior highlights are fairly impressive, but more importantly he made a huge impact on the analysts present at the Adidas Invitational in April, and subsequently the Opening in Oregon. Scout named him among the top 5 'Defensive Surprises'
Hill is a good sized safety who surprised by how he could move that frame, running a 4.44 in the forty yard dash. He then used that speed to make a number of big plays in 7 on 7s, including a pick six on elimination day.
I’ve seen Delano Hill on a couple of different occasions and he’s always been a steady performer, always one of the better safeties in attendance. With his performance this weekend, he was once again one of the best safeties in attendance but among a much stronger field. Not only does Hill have great size but he really popped for us early in the weekend when he added one of the fastest 40-yard dash times of the event with a 4.42. Iowa is getting a star.
Hill was impressive because of his size and range and was much more athletic than we anticipated. He was another great evaluation by Iowa, where he is currently committed, and should ascend in the 247Sports rankings in the near future.
Despite all of that from a player in Michigan's biggest pipeline school, interest was sparse. The only rationale I can think of for Michigan waiting until now to offer are (1) Attrition (2) Impressive senior highlights from Hill, or (3) Taking Gareon Conley's spot/loss of confidence on the McQuay front. I honestly don't know which of these is most likely.
On tape, Hill looks like a very complete safety. His closing speed is well above average, and although he has the stigma of being a rangy coverage guy, he's a very good tackler in space. I really like how he moves in for the tackle even if his teammates look like they have the ball carrier wrapped up- that relentless nature will prevent a lot of second chance opportunities. My only qualm with his technique is that he tends to duck his head and blindly dive at the ball carrier at some points. Wrapping up does not seem to be a priority. He'll need to fill out his frame, but he has the physical ability to play either strong or free safety, versatility which Coach Mallory has said he covets. In coverage, he's a bit stiff in the hips, but he has excellent instincts and reads the QB's eyes well.
If Hill fills out his frame, I could see him becoming a top notch free or strong safety in the Big Ten. With Dymonte coming in this year, though, I think they'll probably have him slated for free safety. During his freshman campaign, starter RS SR Thomas Gordon will return, backed up by SO Jarrod Wilson, and then RS FR Jeremy Clark and RS JR Josh Furman. Hopefully this means he'll redshirt. After that, he'll probably battle Wilson and Clark for the starting spot. At the very least, I could see him as a 2 year starter after Wilson leaves.
With a few spots left in the class, Michigan looks like they're trying to add another linebacker and OL, and then the rest is gravy. The last 2 DBs that the Maize and Blue seem to be pursuing are OH CB Reon Dawson and FL S Leon McQuay. Dawson seems like a marginal talent, while McQuay (IMO) is only elite as a safety. With Hill in the class, I wouldn't be too terribly upset if both of them ended up elsewhere. The only player I wish Michigan could take would be Gareon Conley, but it seems as though that ship has sailed.
By the way, I'm not too keen on Iowa schadenfreude at the moment (probably because we just took the gem of their class), but the defeated tone of some Hawkeyes today is simply delicious.
This is why we will never compete against Michigan, OSU of the Big Ten. He's the best of of our 2013 class - the only 4* and BCS level recruit we have. This will kill this class.
Although some still cling to a misguided shred of arrogance.
See ya. He'll probably go to Michigan and play right away instead of coming to Iowa and sitting behind Tanner Miller.
Yes, this Tanner Miller.
Lastly, do your homework Iowa.
This video is further proof that Delano might have a better chance at coming in and winning the starting job at Iowa because Michigan doesn't have slow, white 2*/walk ons as starting DBs.
Never at Michigan! Never!
By the way by the way- Delano has a younger brother, Lavert, who plays DB at Cass Tech. Without ever having seen him play, I can almost guarantee you this won't be the last time you hear his name.