Hello: Khalid Hill

Submitted by Ace on February 6th, 2012 at 4:06 PM

According to 24/7's Steve Wiltfong, Michigan has picked up their third commitment in the class of 2013 in Detroit Crockett TE Khalid Hill. Hill received his offer from the Wolverines today and also had one from Central Michigan. He joins Maximum Exposure 7-on-7 teammate Shane Morris and Dymonte Thomas among Michigan's 2013 commits.

GURU RATINGS

Scout Rivals ESPN 24/7 Sports
NR TE NR WDE NR TE 3*, 86, NR TE

Hill doesn't have rankings from three of the four recruiting services yet, but that shouldn't be of major concern—it's still very early in the process and the vast majority of juniors still haven't been evaluated. Three of the four list Hill at 6'2" (Scout has him an inch taller) and his listed weight ranges from 223-235 pounds—I'd guess he's closer to the higher number based on the picture above.

Hill was a standout at the Maximum Exposure combine at the Silverdome in December and he apparently developed a strong rapport with his future quarterback ($):

The other Hill at Crockett, Khalid Hill, already has good size. At 6-2, 230 he is big enough to be a good blocker in the run game, but what is most intriguing about him is his ability to run routes and catch passes like a receiver. Hill was clearly one of the top pass-catchers in attendance and has seemingly developed a real chemistry with Shane Morris.

In case you're wondering what "the other Hill" refers to, Khalid's brother Khalil—I'm sure that never gets confusing—plays cornerback for Crockett. Khalid's highlight tape, which you'll see below, jives with this evaluation; he's very adept at finding space over the middle and displays soft hands for a high school tight end. Rivals.com's Josh Helmholdt was also impressed by Hill at Maximum Exposure, naming him among the top performers of the event ($):

Hill has all the physical tools to be a Division I tight end, he just is a little on the short side at 6-foot-3. We'll see how he grows, but Division I programs are already showing interest.

Magnus has his evaluation of Hill up over at Touch the Banner, and he praises Hill's route-running and hands while having this to say about his future position and blocking ability:

With a short frame, it's likely that he's headed for the U position, which is an H-back type role.  His size might be an advantage when playing in space or lead blocking from the move position, but he may struggle to add enough weight and strength to be an every-down tight end.  He gets a little bit lackadaisical with his blocking at times, and he's going to have to be more consistent with his effort in the running game.  That can be fixed with coaching, though.

Hill has the body to be able to play as a freshman if needed.  He's not the most fundamental or explosive player, but he's not wispy like Devin Funchess and might be more college-ready immediately.  I expect him to play a role somewhat like that of former Michigan tight end/H-back Aaron Shea.

Hill also took home MVP honors among tight ends at Michigan's summer camp in 2011, so the coaches were able to get an up-close evaluation that surely helped him land an offer. ESPN has yet to write up a scouting report on Hill and a tap-dancer of the same name is making a Google-stalk difficult, so for now the above camp reports are as much as I can find on Michigan's newest commit. Now that he's made his decision, I'm sure we'll read much more on him in the very near future. Since he plays at Detroit Crockett, I'll also likely be checking out at least one of his games in the fall.

OFFERS

Hill held one offer—from Central Michigan—before he pledged to Michigan today. Michigan State also reportedly showed interest. Considering how early in the process it is and the fact that Hill's camp appearances were in-state, the short offer list shouldn't be of much concern. His Michigan camp MVP honor says all you need to know about what the coaches think of his ability.

STATS

Hill caught 29 passes for 448 yards and six touchdowns in 2011. He also added 55 tackles, nine TFLs, and six sacks while playing defensive end.

FAKE 40 TIME

Hill posted a 5.11 40-yard dash time at the Nike SPARQ Combine in Massillon (OH) last February, where he also recorded a 4.84-second shuttle and a 28.5" vertical leap. He looks faster than that 5.11 on film, and since that's an electronic time at a combine I'll give it a one FAKE out of five. If anything, he's probably a little faster at this point.

VIDEO

Junior highlights:

From a quick perusal of the film, Hill impresses with his ability to go over the middle and his soft hands, though he could do a little better at catching the ball away from his body. It's tough to evaluate his blocking from the few highlights available, but he seems pretty powerful while also possessing surprising athleticism for a player of his size.

PREDICTION BASED ON FLIMSY EVIDENCE

The evidence at this point is flimsy indeed, but Hill looks like a solid all-around tight end who's a real threat as a receiver. He's a little shorter than ideal for the position, which may limit his effectiveness as a downfield threat. Hill has solid bulk for a junior, however, and he shows no fear in going across the middle and extending to make the tough catch. Michigan will once again be in need of an infusion of depth at tight end after Brandon Moore graduates following the 2012 season, so Hill will have every opportunity to contribute early in his career, especially if A.J. Williams eventually outgrows the position.

Without much to go on beyond one camp appearence and his junior film, I can't say much more about how he projects, though his lack of height will likely limit how high he can go when full class of 2013 rankings are released. That said, this is a nice pickup at a position of need, and Hill fits the mold as a versatile player who can line up along the line, at H-back, or even split wide. Given that he has over a year-and-a-half to add weight before his freshman season, Hill should have the size to be an immediate contributor by the time the 2013 season rolls around—we'll just have to wait and see if he has the ability.

UPSHOT FOR THE REST OF THE CLASS

It's still too early in the process to really project the number of open spots, but expect Michigan to end up with around 20-22 scholarships to fill for 2013, and they've now landed three commits. Given the need at tight end, I expect the Wolverines to take one more player at the position, so this commitment doesn't mean that they won't continue pursuing players like Adam Breneman, Jake Matuska, and Jake Butt.

Comments

Jon Benke

February 6th, 2012 at 4:32 PM ^

I'm always glad to have new commits, but am baffled at how we take this guy right now -- this early in the process, but oh well...  I'd much rather we use the first half of the year trying to get all the top guys, than as the year goes on, slowly bring lower ranked guys in.  Oh, and before you say; the coaches don't care about rankings, I totally agree, but his offer list didn't scream - get him now or fear Central Michigan will land him, that's all.

WolvinLA2

February 6th, 2012 at 4:36 PM ^

People said something similar a year ago with Pipkins. He was a three star, and everyone wanted Day or Schutt or other guys. Just because the sites and other programs haven't figured him out, doesn't mean our coaches haven't.

Our coaches saw him in person, I'm not concerned.

Jon Benke

February 6th, 2012 at 4:49 PM ^

But I get your point.  Heck, Shane Morris doesn't have an awesome offer list, but the guy has so much buzz about him, and who knows, maybe the offers aren't coming due to so many programs knowing on how strong his Michigan verbal is, which makes sense.  The buzz about Shane Morris is for real, just as the offer sheets of such guys as Jaylon Smith and LTT, they're legit because of their offer sheets.  Offers are huge.

I often look at who offers a guy before anything.

Belisarius

February 6th, 2012 at 9:41 PM ^

If you see talent you want to get, you want to get it. It doesn't matter when it is in the process or how many offers he has. There's no point in slow playing a kid just to let him accumulate offers. They want him. It's the same reason they offered Shaq Wiggens when he was still an unkown, and LTT before he blew up.

And talent isn't always shown in offer lists. Desmond Morgan was a nobody when Michigan moved in on him. I think NW was his only AQ offer. And he wound up starting as a true freshman. Remember, we only have a vicarious relationship with these players, by way of stars and offers.

The coaches actually see these kids play up close, and know what to look for. Always, always trust the coaches.

UMICH1606

February 6th, 2012 at 4:56 PM ^

Why are people always confused when Hoke and Co. offer a kid that isn't recruiting site or Saban/Urban approved? The kid went beast mode at their camp as a TE. They need help at the TE position, they liked the kid , and offered him. Haven't Hoke and Co. earned the benefit of the doubt by now? I mean they did win a BCS bowl in their first year of a transition correct?

ThWard

February 6th, 2012 at 4:37 PM ^

That there have been numerous past recruits who, at the time of commitment, you weren't familiar with because they hadn't dominated one of the major site's top whatever lists.

 

There was a round of "Who?" when Stacey committed... then we were disappointed he didn't stick; ditto P. Brown... then we were bummed he opted for Oregon (after he blew up in the rankings).. etc., etc.

 

I know "trust the coaches" gets annoyingly overused, but our fan base is an informed one - you gotta know good coaching staffs don't overly depend on recruiting services.

Jon Benke

February 6th, 2012 at 4:51 PM ^

I've been following recruiting for awhile now, and like I said, I look at buzz and offers this early in the process, and here, I don't see either.  Now I have admitted myself - yes, he could end up better than I expect, and I guess we'll see how it unfolds.  I am not upset by this, I am just confused.

EDIT: and I am still happy we landed Mr. #3 :)

thisisme08

February 6th, 2012 at 4:52 PM ^

I for one dont mind the Texas way of recruiting, they have their class 95% by Signing Day and only are in on a few big fish. 

This year Michigan didnt have such a great record with their big fish however, if Hoke and Co. can replicate their success this upcoming year then we will start landing our share of NSD "Hat Pickum" presser's and have a nice solid class behind them. 

M-Wolverine

February 6th, 2012 at 5:28 PM ^

With "big fish".  Guys like Kalis and Pipkins were higher rated than anyone outside of Garnett that we were in on the week of signing day. But because they didn't wait, you don't see them as big fish.   I think a lot of people would rather have a 4* surprise them on signing day than have a 5* QB make a commitment a year in advance.

Ace

February 6th, 2012 at 5:08 PM ^

He got his offer today and I hadn't got the chance to interview him, so yes, this did catch me by surprise. Wiltfong appeared to be the only guy who saw this coming and he picked up on it today, from what I can tell.

ThWard

February 6th, 2012 at 4:55 PM ^

Fair point.  But again, outside of a handful of top 100 type of guys, there aren't a ton of kids with insane offer lists just yet.

Besides, at this stage, offer lists are partly dependent on the school the kid goes to (i.e., some programs are better known, some coaches are better about circulating the tapes, etc.).  

 

(side note: people are quite touchy with the flamebait category)

Jon Benke

February 6th, 2012 at 5:03 PM ^

Thanks for the back and forth, and I still agree with what you're saying, we just disagree on a few very small tidbits, but that's okay.  I use to just look at stars, but found that is a pretty bad way to judge a recruit, so I started looking at offers, who offered, how many top programs offer, etc .. in judging a prospect.  If you're from the Midwest, and you have offers from Alabama, USC, and Texas, amongst your slew of Mac and Big Ten offers, I am going to go out on a limb and say that's a kid I want, just on offers alone, I could care less what their star rankings are.  We all have our ways of judging talent, I understand that.  It's early - like I said, and I guess we'll just have to wait and see how it all plays out.  GO BLUE!

UMICH 15

February 6th, 2012 at 5:07 PM ^

Aaron Hernandez is listed as 6'1".  Dallas Clark at 6'3". 

This guy was a camp MVP at TE, and Hoke/Co felt he is solid enough to offer, so why ask why?  Plus he's apparently all in for GOing BLUE!

Welcome Khalid.

Hardware Sushi

February 6th, 2012 at 5:18 PM ^

So...according to twitter he has a twin.

Aaaand according to his varsity jacket, he's the "Big Twin" hahaha I wish I had a twin to rag on. [EDIT: Apparently Ace got that part]

sundaybluedysunday

February 6th, 2012 at 5:19 PM ^

I would say the great thing about having someone like Khalid in the fold is that they have a good one wrapped up and can now focus on a few select prospects. They can pay more attention to guys like Breneman and Matuska than if their attentions were divided.

Mr. Yost

February 6th, 2012 at 5:25 PM ^

I read this an instantly thought "THE H-BACK IS BACK!!!"

He reminds me of Aaron Shea.

I've heard some say Aaron Hernandez who is 6'2, 240...Hernandez has very good speed and elusiveness. I think Hemingway reminded me more of Hernandez than this kid.

He does play for a good program which is a plus and he had a D1 QB (Who early on, people thought may get B1G offers) to help his progress along as a WR.

brax

February 7th, 2012 at 2:33 PM ^

I count 15 scholarships available for next year.  I doubt that we will get to 20-22 as that will mean 5-7 early departures.  That seems a bit high and does not bode well for being "all in for Michigan."  And yes, I know that is a Rich Rod slogan.

Bodogblog

February 7th, 2012 at 9:00 PM ^

Great name, great looking game.  He doesn't look that big, but he's got a unique way of moving.  Absolutely on the seam routes, just as his coach said. 

aljuanason

February 11th, 2012 at 12:29 AM ^

I've seen this kid play for the last two years and he definitely has the talent to be a contributor at Michigan.  The kid isn't 6'2".  He was around that height as a sophomore.  He is probably a shade over 6'3".  I saw his father at a few games and he's around 6'4".  I think he can easily add 30 more pounds to his 235 frame.  He blocks, has soft hands, and is deceptively quick.  I wish him the best when gets there in 2013.