The Wolverine

January 2013

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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  commitment profile Delano Hill Is The Third Class Of 2013 Commit From Cass Tech The University of Michigan has become something of a destination for the top football prospects emerging from Detroit Cass Technical High School. Since 2008, seven Technicians have signed to continue their playing careers in Ann Arbor. That makes it a bit head-scratching that one of Cass Tech's top class of 2013 prospects, safety Delano Hill, hardly heard from Michigan. The 6-1, 190-pound Hill has earned the title of Cass Tech's fastest player two years running — making him better in the 40-yard dash than Nike Indoor track All-American Terry Richardson from the 2012 class or four-star cornerback Jourdan Lewis from 2013. He committed to Iowa April 14 without receiving much attention from the Wolverines. Changing situations in both Ann Arbor and Iowa City re-opened the door for Hill, and he switched his pledge to Michigan Dec. 15. "[U-M running backs] Coach Fred Jackson came to my house Wednesday [Dec. 12]," Hill said. "He came and talked to my mom and family. I learned a lot about Michigan, and my family got comfortable with them. They liked the degree and how it was a better fit for me." Shortly after that visit from the Wolverines' Detroit-area recruiter — which resulted in a scholarship offer from Michigan — Hill made a trip to campus in Ann Arbor, and he didn't wait long before making his choice. "I think he just made up his mind Dawson Recommits Michigan's 2013 class spent nearly eight months with two members of the Detroit Cass Tech program committed, but since mid-October, defensive back Jourdan Lewis has been the only one. Offensive lineman David Dawson, who decommitted Oct. 14 to take an official visit to Florida, changed that when he recommitted Dec. 15. The 6-4, 282-pound Dawson is the No. 6 offensive guard and No. 151 overall prospect in the country, according to He is also the No. 4 overall prospect in the state of Michigan. His commitment gives U-M six of the top 10 in-state prospects for 2013. Hill, who is ranked as the No. 23 safety in the nation by, originally committed to Iowa before switching his pledge to Michigan. photo courtesy once he got around all the guys from Detroit that are up there," Cass Tech football coach Thomas Wilcher explained. "Everybody made him feel at home. That's my take on it. "I think it all goes with the relationships at Iowa. When you start losing that relationship with the school you're committed to, that's what I think happened. He's trying to be respectful to the school, but Michigan is a better fit." Wilcher is not exaggerating when he says that there's a home feel going from Cass Tech to Michigan. The commitments of Hill and offensive lineman David Dawson will give the Wolverines seven former Cass players on next year's roster. That comfort level extends to other players from the city, including Detroit East English Village tight end Khalid Hill (no relation). "I know them, and they were happy for me. They played on my 7-on-7 team," Delano Hill said. "I am excited just to play for Michigan and play with my teammates and people I know." Hill is ranked the No. 23 player nationally at the safety position and No. 7 across all positions in the Great Lakes State by Despite his ranking as a safety, he'll actually get a chance to play another position. "Their plans for me are I am going to start off playing corner," Hill said. "If I don't like playing corner, I can always go back to playing safety. I think I can play all positions in the secondary, so it doesn't matter to me." Wilcher expounded on what makes Hill able to excel at either position. "I think Delano will probably go in being one of their biggest, fastest kids they have at safety," the coach said. "I think that will be the thing they've got going right now. For an incoming freshman, with that much speed, great hips, great feet, there are a lot of great things he can do for them, especially when he hits the weight room." Hill is commitment No. 24 in Michigan's class, and the eighth from the state of Michigan. — Tim Sullivan Film Evaluation Strengths: Hill is an excellent physical specimen. His 6-1, 190-pound frame is an intimidating force for opposing offensive players, and his speed allows him to cover a lot of ground in the secondary. He shows good ability in man coverage and a solid understanding of zone schemes. He is rarely caught out of position, and even when he does get lost in coverage, his speed allows him to make up for it. Areas of Improvement: Hill's size makes him a "first guy off the bus" type of athlete for a program. He is a big, chiseled athlete who looks the part of a Division I starter even though he is still in high school. The biggest thing Hill will need to do is add an intimidating element to his actual play. For a defensive back his size, he doesn't have a physical edge to his game, whether from scheme or attitude. He will need to add that mentality to be a force in college. Michigan Player Comparison: Charles Stewart (2004-08) came to Michigan from a Southeast Michigan powerhouse (Farmington Hills Harrison) and started at multiple positions in the defensive backfield. Hill has a similar expectation for his career, and could blossom into an even better player. — Analysis from January 2013    the wolverine  47

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