A mere hour before the Heisman trophy presentation, a new bit of news might get lost in all the excitement. That news it that Daxton Hill, the #1 safety, #8 overall player in the nation flipped his commitment from Michigan to Alabama in one fell swoop.
The five-star defensive back hailing from Tulsa, Oklahoma keeps Alabama easily ahead of Texas A&M in the national recruiting rankings. He’s not expected to enroll early, but he is likely to sign during the early signing period. So with a flip this late in the game, it seems likely he sticks with the hottest team in the nation.
Here’s the fun part though: SPARQ.
Hill is an off the charts athlete— the top in his class, in fact. Of all the Alabama recruits since Nike started publishing SPARQ results, only Nigel Knott has topped Hill’s score of 143.76. The most impressive perhaps is that Hill ran a verified 4.30 flat forty yard dash, coupled with a postion-best vertical jump of 43.6 inches.
Though projected as a safety, he’s also an excellent outside and slot cornerback with a polished jam technique and sticky man coverage. In zone, he can switch from a backpedal and explode forward faster than nearly any defensive back I’ve seen. He’s a powerful tackler despite his slighter frame, and is used as a jump ball specialist as a receiver when he plays on offense.
In other words, he’s a similar style and build to Deionte Thompson, with more athleticism and technique than Thompson had his senior year of high school.
With Thompson likely moving on to the NFL after this season, the spot opposite Xavier McKinney will be wide open for the taking. Jared Mayden has shown flashes as a dime back, and Daniel Wright will be coming off a season injury, but Hill will still be right in the mix for winning the job as a true freshman.
UPDATE: The Tide got more outstanding news:
What’s understood don’t need to be explained RESPECT MY DECISION! pic.twitter.com/v1iNZM6JfK— Scooby (@jcarter2133) December 9, 2018
Carter has good size at 6’0”, 186 lbs. with reported sub-4.4 speed. He is the #11 CB and #91 player on the 247 composite.