football Edit

Michigan flips five-star Dax Hill back from Alabama

The biggest stunner early in the December Signing Period happened when the University of Michigan football program announced it had signed Tulsa (Okla.) Booker T. Washington five-star safety Daxton Hill. Just 11 days prior Hill had stepped away from a three-month commitment to the Wolverines and flipped his commitment to Alabama.

MORE DAX HILL: Coverage from TheWolverine.com | Game video analysis

WHAT IT MEANS FOR MICHIGAN

The overall recruiting momentum was slipping away from Michigan heading into the early signing period. After losing Hill’s commitment to Alabama earlier this month, the Wolverines were also seeing five-star defensive end Zach Harrison, who at one time very recently was considered a strong Michigan lean, slip through their fingers. Getting Hill back on board, though, completely shifts that momentum and also gives Michigan a shot to hold onto their lead in the Big Ten team recruiting rankings. The Wolverines also recently landed commitments from four-star offensive tackle Trevor Keegan and four-star linebacker Anthony Solomon. A month that has been largely forgettable for Michigan appears to be turning around.

As far as what Michigan is getting from a football standpoint with Hill, there are reasons to make the comparison to recent Wolverine Jabrill Peppers. Like Peppers, Hill has elite playmaking skills from not just the defensive back position, but also in the return game and he can do some things offensively. He brings great size and speed to the safety position. He covers like a cornerback and hits like a linebacker. What makes Hill truly stand out, though, is the football IQ he brings to the game. When I went out and saw his Booker T. Washington team play this past season Hill was always around the football, and when his team needed a big play he delivered with a 50-yard jet sweep and a pick-six on successive drives.

THE IMPACT FOR ALABAMA

One potential reason for Hill’s flip back to Michigan was Alabama flipping four-star defensive back Jordan Battle from Ohio State (Now, that’s a recruiting scenario Michigan fans are going to relish – one prospect de-committing from Ohio State helps the Wolverines sign a five-star). That does not mean this is no sweat off the back of Nick Saban, though. The Crimson Tide had made Hill a priority throughout the recruiting process, and never stopped coming after him even when ge committed to Michigan back in September. Even at Alabama five-star prospects do not grow on trees, so while the Crimson Tide have other talented players to fill the hole, Hill would have definitely been a big addition to this class. It will also be interesting to see if this loss has an impact on their pursuit for the 2019 team recruiting rankings title.