Goodbye, Lavert Hill

Goodbye, Lavert Hill


March 16, 2020
Lavert Hill (image via MGoBlue)

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HIGH SCHOOL
Lavert Hill came to Michigan out of Detroit (MI) King after his brother, Delano, also came to Michigan after playing high school ball at Detroit (MI) Cass Tech. The younger brother was a 247 Sports 4-star, the #12 cornerback, and #132 overall. He was a U.S. Army All-American, too. I initially gave him a TTB Rating of 81 (LINK) before bumping him up to an 84 (LINK), which was good but still behind classmate David Long.

Hit the jump for more.

COLLEGE
Hill was not expected to contribute greatly as a freshman, so he had an opportunity to apprentice behind the likes of Channing Stribling, Jourdan Lewis, and Jeremy Clark. By his sophomore year he was a twelve-game starter and Second Team All-Big Ten. In the 2018 season, he came to be a First Team All-Big Ten player and a Third Team All-American. Despite some flirtations with the NFL draft after his junior year, he came back for a senior campaign that saw him repeat as First Team All-Big Ten.

CAREER STATS
57 tackles, 7 tackles for loss, 6 interceptions (for 70 yards and 2 touchdowns), 29 pass breakups, 1 kickoff return for 14 yards, 3 punts returns for -1 yard

AWARDS
All-Big Ten (Second Team, 2017; First Team, 2018-2019)
AP All-American (Third Team, 2018)

(image via MGoBlue)

SUMMARY
Hill was a standout recruit who played up to expectations in college. Michigan has done a good job of coaching up cornerbacks since Jim Harbaugh’s hire, and Hill was no exception. The Wolverines have taught their corners to be very grabby, and Hill took that part of his coaching well. On the other hand, there were constant intimations from cornerbacks coach Mike Zordich that Hill needed to toughen up; Hill missed quite a bit of time during the spring due to injury, but during the season, he was almost always ready to go. On the field Hill was a sticky corner who wasn’t tested very often. I think he missed some opportunities to make some big plays throughout his career, and while he locked down a lot of receivers, he didn’t come up with key plays against the better passers and receivers.

I WILL REMEMBER HIM FOR…
…getting called out by Mike Zordich. This has less to do with Hill than it does with Zordich, because it’s rare that you see college position coaches call out specific guys. Obviously, Zordich’s style has worked with several corners, so I don’t question Zordich but I just found it interesting. Regardless of whether that was a great move or not, it obviously didn’t spill over into costing Hill a starting position, which he held down for his final three years on campus.

PROJECTION
I wanted to see Hill, who had a chance to get drafted after his junior year, make some more big plays and become more physical as a senior. Neither one of those things really happened. Hill got invited to the NFL Combine but did not do any of the physical testing, and his pro day was ruined by the coronavirus pandemic. I have seen a few pundits say that Hill fits in well as a slot corner because of his physicality, and I have no idea what they’ve been watching to view him as a physical player. He’s not particularly strong (though he did measure in at 5’10”, 190 lbs. a the Combine, up from 182 at Michigan), doesn’t tackle extremely well, and sometimes shows a little lack of game awareness. I think he will probably get drafted somewhere around the 5th round.

7 comments

  1. Avatar
    Comments: 1856
    Joined: 1/19/2016
    je93
    Mar 16, 2020 at 10:55 AM

    Hill was a solid Corner for MICHIGAN, but another star who didn’t seem to “love” the game. He never seemed to get after it, which seems all that stood between him & a healthy off-season, him & the big play, and him & a standout senior season

    Best of luck to him in the League

  2. Lanknows
    Comments: 5908
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Lanknows
    Mar 16, 2020 at 6:25 PM

    Harsh words for a 3 year starter who made first team all conference twice. Especially considering he was undersized and not a top 100 recruit.

    Hill had an exceptional career and I can’t remember him getting beat by size very often, if ever.

    Maybe these criticisms will be borne out at the next level though.

    I hope there’s another Hill brother in the pipeline some because Delano and Lavert have been excellent players at Michigan.

    • Avatar
      Comments: 1856
      Joined: 1/19/2016
      je93
      Mar 16, 2020 at 7:17 PM

      I said solid

      Ceiling was Jourdan Lewis. Probably obtainable too, but Zordich statements point to what may have hindered that potential

      • Lanknows
        Comments: 5908
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Mar 17, 2020 at 6:36 PM

        Not any evidence of unrealized potential. The scouting criticisms are size and speed related — so if anything Hill worked through his talent limitations by working hard.

        Can Zordich’s comments be considered motivational? I don’t know if you ever played any organized sports or not but I got an earful from coaches across different sports. Sometimes it worked. Different people react different ways to tough love but the situation with Hill seems to have played out extremely successfully to me.

        I’m not going to take everything a coach says so seriously or buy into offseason soap-opera drama that Rivals puts out. Instead focus on the results. Hill delivered. 48 games in 4 years. All conference and all american honors.

        Also – on the big play front he is “One of four players in U-M history with multiple interceptions returned for touchdowns, joining Thom Darden (1969-71), Lance Dottin (1991), and teammate Brandon Watson (2018)”

        • Avatar
          Comments: 1856
          Joined: 1/19/2016
          je93
          Mar 17, 2020 at 7:31 PM

          Holy assumption! If zordich – in his five full seasons had ever said that about another of his dozen-plus DBs, sure. I could see it a coachspeak

          Did a coach ever do that to me? No. Not being the most talented guy on the field/court/diamond/mat/ring, I was always an intangibles kind of guy

          As for big plays, both those TDs, Cincinnati in 2018 and Wisconsin of the same year, I believe, were both thrown right into his hands, not unlike the MTSU drops. Just a little context to add to your little spreadsheet ?

  3. Avatar
    Comments: 26
    Joined: 10/6/2019
    awolverine10
    Mar 16, 2020 at 8:51 PM

    21 bench press reps @ 190 pounds is pretty strong, no?

    • Thunder
      Comments: 3618
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Mar 17, 2020 at 8:17 AM

      I wish he played like it.

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