Safety Dax Hill is considered to be one of Michigan Football’s most athletic and versatile playmakers, someone with a high ceiling who is ready for a breakout year.
Michigan’s new safeties coach Ron Bellamy has been impressed by Hill to this point, a player he believes is special — not only in skill, but in mindset.
“Dax is one of those rare guys that could play all across the defense. He’s a special talent. And the thing that impresses you the most is his approach to the game,” Bellamy told The Michigan Insider’s Sam Webb. “The way he’s diligent in meetings, taking notes, asking questions. He’s not the big rah-rah guy. You’re not gonna get that out of Dax. What you’re gonna get out of Dax is a lead by example kind of guy.”
Earlier in the spring Hill mentioned how Bellamy’s energy has been a major positive to the entire secondary “The energy has been on a whole different level. Having him and the other new coaches has been good for us,” Hill said.
As Bellamy mentioned, Hill is a player that can play all over the field, and he’s someone who will lineup all over the field, not just at a traditional safety spot — Hill’s versatility will be utilized well in new defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald’s scheme that aims to be multiple and attack from a variety of coverages and angles. “We’re mixing in a lot of different things,” Hill said in March. “Can’t wait to put it out on the field in the fall. We’re installing new things every other day, so everything is coming together like one big puzzle. Piece by piece, every day. We’re working hard and I can’t wait to show the people how we’ve been playing so far.”
Hill’s work ethic and willingness to line up at multiple spots has caught the eye of Bellamy — he sees selflessness in Hill, a player ready to do whatever the coaches ask if it’ll put Michigan’s best foot forward.
“He’s a kid that’ll stay after practice to get his work in. With a new defense, what we asked him to do in the spring, he impressed me just being able to move around the football field and play at a high level,” Bellamy said. Whether it’s at nickel, safety, or being able to line up and cover receivers playing corner — whatever he was asked to do, he kid did it at a high level. He’s one of the better special teams players that we have on the team. That speaks volumes. We’re looking for big things from Dax this year.”
Hill is coming off a season where he tallied 44 total tackles in six games as part of a unit that ranked No. 90 in pass defense. If Michigan’s defense improves against the run and the pass, Hill will have a major say and will need to contribute in major ways — but for now, he’s been impressing teammates and coaches in practice with his competitiveness and skill. “He’s fun to watch. He covers a lot of ground and he’s so competitive,” Bellamy said. “And that brings out the best in the offensive guys, because if you don’t bring your ‘A’ game, then he’s gonna expose you.”