CHESAPEAKE, Va. - Hampton Roads is fertile recruiting territory in the Mid-Atlantic, but on the northern outskirts of the region sits the small tourist town of Williamsburg, Virginia. Rarely known for recruiting talent, 2009 features arguably one of the top defensive ends on the East Coast in 6-foot-4, 250-pound Lafayette end William Hill.
Hill has been playing football his entire life and is seeing the fruits of his labor as he earned all-state honors last season.
"I first started playing football when I was six or seven years old," he said. "I was a defensive and offensive lineman. I was always bigger than the other kids."
It's no surprise Hill played football. The talented lineman grew up around it with his brother and father.
"I started playing because my big brother and my dad did," he said. "My dad played a year at Norfolk State and my brother at Hampton and Christopher Newport.
"I watched my brother play at Lafayette for Coach Andy Linn and I saw the excitement. I wanted to do it too."
Growing up around football the talented junior acquired a number of skills that helped him become the player he is today.
"They helped me a lot because of their criticism," he said. "They told me what to improve on and kept my level-headed.
"Ever since I was a little kid I knew I had the talent. I took football very serious. I've been weight lifting ever since I've been in high school and I've been starting since my sophomore year."
One such attribute that Hill is known for already is his aggression and hitting.
"I just like playing the game and I never sacrifice anything," he said. "I have a love for the game. A lot of players are doing it for the paycheck, but I love it and am competitive. I played every sport, baseball, football and basketball growing up."
Following an impressive sophomore season that saw him earn second-team all-district honors, Hill had to step up his game even more as a junior.
"I attracted a lot of attention last year," he said. "I was getting double-teamed more and my defense stepped up and they helped open the way for our linebackers.
"It didn't frustrate me. I never get too excited so when I struggle or make a mistake, I move on and go to the next play."
Despite all the honors and accolades in his high school career, Hill is a relative shadow to the recruiting world still only holding two offers from Maryland and Virginia.
"I don't know why I'm under the radar," he said. "Maybe it's because we have so many standouts on this defense, there is no superstar, that's how the defense is coached."
While his recruiting is still very low profile, there are signs he's on the verge of exploding as several schools, including Southern California, are already taking an interest.
"I guess it's a good thing that I'm getting interest," he said. "I'm glad it's about to happen. I feel good about the recognition, but I know I still have to get a lot of work done.
"I want to strive this year and be the best."