Ole Miss Snags Football Recruit Brandon Hill –– Originally Committed to Bama
By: Yancy Porter, Ole Miss Spirit
Brandon Hill, of Hargrave (Va.) Military Academy, surprised many when he arrived at Ole Miss on Thursday for an official visit after reporting the day before he was set to sign with Alabama in December. A day later, he shocked many when he announced he was now going to be an Ole Miss Rebel.
“(Ole Miss head) Coach (Hugh) Freeze stayed with me the whole time when he got this job, Hill said. “I want to be a part of this rebuild. I’m finished with recruiting. I’ll leave Hargrave in January and come to Ole Miss for the second semester and spring football.”The 6′ 7”, 378-pound lineman had to sit out his junior season in high school because of transfer rules. He starred at offensive tackle for St. George in Memphis, Tenn., and became a dominant force in Tennessee as he helped lead his team to a state championship.
“I’m a run blocker,” Hill said to Scout.com coming out of high school. “They tell me to run and go, I’m gone. I can deal with pass blocking. It doesn’t excite me too much. I have to sit there and make sure my quarterback doesn’t get hit. On the high school level I just punch.”
“My arms are so long they aren’t going to get by me. I want to be down to 315 pounds by the time I get to college. I want to be in good shape. Coaches like my quick feet. They said I need to improve my flexibility. I need to work on my pass protection a lot. I need to understand it better. I’m so used to grabbing and pushing and running with my feet instead of kicking back and being patient and let the defensive player come to me.”His position coach in high school, Cole Hoppe, believes Hill’s future is promising on the next level.
“Brandon, size-wise, is a big kid. He also has a big personality and truly enjoys being out there whether it be practice or games,” he said. “He’s big time, and obviously did some great things for us. Brandon’s senior season, as far as running the football, we made a commitment during the playoffs to run the football. He did a great job opening up some big holes for us, and was one of the big reasons that we were able to win the state championship this year.
“He’s very good at both [run and pass blocking]. For as big as he is, he moves very well on his feet. He didn’t give up any sacks this year, so he was excellent in pass protection as well. But run blocking we ran the ball a lot more than we threw it, especially down the stretch of the season. He excelled run blocking as well.
“He played right tackle on offense and defensive tackle. From everything we’ve heard he’s going to stay at tackle. He was good in man-to-man blocking, zone blocking. We used him a lot at point, so he was very versatile as to what he could do in the run game. He helped us a lot defensively plugging up holes as a defensive tackle.
“I would definitely say he’s vocal. Regardless of the situation he’s always the kid that has a smile on his face. He always stayed positive even though we went through a rough stretch during the season.
“He would always come by, and he would be smiling and always talk about ‘We’re going to win state.’ We were on a two, three-game losing streak, but he was always positive. I’d also say he’s a jokester as well. He likes to have a good time.”Hill completed his high school career at St. George’s and became one of the hottest prospects in Tennessee. Ole Miss, MSU, Tennessee, Kentucky, Georgia, Nebraska all came calling and offered. He inked with Alabama but fell just short on his ACT test and enrolled at Hargrave.Hill made his qualifying score last week and was set to resign with Alabama before coming on his official visit to Ole Miss.
“It’s just closer to home for my family to see me play, and I have an opportunity to come in there and be an immediate impact player for them next year. Coach Freeze has stuck with me the whole way through, and I know he’s going to make me a better person and player. I know they’re about to start winning big at Ole Miss and I want to be a part of that. Like I said earlier, I’m done with the recruiting process. I’m not taking anymore visits. I’m signing with them in a few weeks and will be there in January. I want to get down to 340 before my freshman season and I’m looking to come in there compete for a starting spot. ”