Name: Daxton Hill
Weight: 192 lbs.
High school: Tulsa (OK) Booker T. Washington
Jersey number: #30
Last year: I ranked Hill #3 and said he would be the starting free safety (LINK). He made 46 tackles, 1 interception, and 5 pass breakups.
TTB Rating: 100
Daxton Hill was Michigan’s highest rated recruit in the class of 2019, and much like other skill position players at Michigan under Jim Harbaugh, he has not lived up to the expectations. He certainly was not the only one, but he appeared to be disinterested in playing football during the 2020 season. There were times where he did not appear to be going full speed, either in running or tackling. There were even times where he seemed disinterested in getting lined up and in a good stance. When walk-on safety Hunter Reynolds got a chance to play, he seemed to outperform Hill if only because Reynolds looked like he actually cared.
Going into his third year, it’s time for Hill to finally reach his potential. A new coaching staff reportedly plans to use him in a variety of roles in the secondary, playing anywhere from corner to nickel to strong safety to deep safety. I am a little concerned that his new position coach is Ron Bellamy (a former receiver and a high school coach through last season), but it’s also fair to note that Bellamy played in the NFL. Guys who play in the NFL tend to know stuff.
Hill has very good speed, he has decent size, and he has playmaking ability. He can also lay the lumber if he wants. The big question is whether Jim Harbaugh, Mike Macdonald, and Bellamy can bring the best out of him. Michigan needs him to play at a high level if they want to win, since there are questions at cornerback and in the front seven. I think the new staff might be a positive jolt of energy for Hill, so he should take a step forward in 2021, perhaps resulting in an early departure for the NFL.
Prediction: Starting safety
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