Alabama wins recruiting fight for top-10 OLB Hill

Sports

Alabama beat out finalists Ohio State, Oregon and USC to secure a pledge from four-star outside linebacker Justin Hill on Wednesday afternoon, landing the 86th-ranked prospect in the 2025 ESPN 300 as coach Kalen DeBoer assembles his inaugural class in Tuscaloosa.

Hill, a 6-foot-3 defender, announced his decision in a ceremony at Cincinnati’s Winton Woods High School. According to ESPN rankings, he is the No. 4 prospect in the state of Ohio in the 2025 class and the 10th-ranked outside linebacker in this cycle.

With Hill’s pledge, the Crimson Tide have added 12 commitments since June 1. DeBoer’s debut recruiting class includes 16 ESPN 300 commits and seven top-100 prospects. Hill ranks as the second-highest-rated defender pledged to the Crimson Tide in this cycle behind only linebacker Darrell Johnson (No. 34 overall) in a defensive class that features commitments from outside linebackers Dawson Merritt (No. 15 OLB) and Jaedon Harmon (No. 19), cornerback Chuck McDonald III (No. 14 CB), inside linebacker Abduall Sanders Jr. (No. 2 ILB) and defensive tackle Antonio Coleman (No. 16 DT).

Alabama initially offered Hill under Nick Saban in June 2023 after Hill tallied 42 tackles and 5.5 sacks in his sophomore season at Winton Woods. His sack total ballooned to 13 to go with 36 total tackles in his junior campaign last fall ahead of a spring recruitment slate that included unofficial trips to Miami and Alabama before official visits to Ohio State, USC, Alabama and Oregon.

With a long wingspan and track speed, Hill plays multiple positions across the Winton Woods defense. His junior season sack total reflects a keen pass rush ability, and the rangy defender looks comfortable at both the outside and inside linebacker spots. At Alabama, Hill will provide defensive coordinator Kane Womack with a versatile weapon capable of filling multiple roles once he arrives on campus in 2025.

June proved to be a productive month for DeBoer, as Alabama added 12 pledges to the nation’s No. 3 recruiting class.

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