SAN ANTONIO, Texas — Michigan’s only five-star prospect in its 2019 recruiting class is expected to come in this summer and compete for playing time in the secondary.
But it might not be the only position he plays at.
Daxton Hill, who flipped his commitment from Alabama to Michigan on Dec. 19, the first day of the early signing period, told MLive during the U.S. Army All-American Bowl practice the Michigan coaching staff has brought up the idea of playing him on offense.
“They’re talking about putting me at receiver as well,” Hill said. “(They like) my speed. I think they said they didn’t really have any 4.3 (second) guys, so putting me on the offensive side helps.”
Hill, who’s listed at 6 feet and 186 pounds, played both sides of the football at Booker T. Washington High School in Tulsa, Oklahoma. As a senior this year, he had 79 tackles (six for a loss) and caught 13 passes for 360 yards and seven touchdowns, according to MaxPreps.
The idea was broached by tight ends coach Sherrone Moore, one of two assistant coaches that helped Michigan land Hill, the No. 1-ranked safety in the country.
“Just off my film,” Hill said. “They saw my film. I’m pretty good at receiver as well. They wanted me to play receiver.”
How much Hill ends up playing at receiver is unclear at this point, but his speed and athleticism would certainly give the Wolverines another pass-catching target in the slot.
Michigan’s two leading receivers in 2018, Donovan Peoples-Jones (47 catches, 612 yards, 8 TD) and Nico Collins (38 catches, 632 yards, 6 TD), are both expected to return, as is Tarik Black, who spend most of the season recovering from his second fractured foot in as many seasons.
Also back are Ronnie Bell, who played in all 13 games as a true freshman, and tight ends Sean McKeon and Nick Eubanks.
On Friday, Michigan quarterback Shea Patterson told MLive during the U.S. Army All-American Bowl awards ceremony that the next step with the offense is to let guys “go make plays.”
“All the best athletes around the country are getting put into open space, and there’s no reason why we can’t,” Patterson said.
Might that include Hill? Stay tuned — but the move wouldn’t be totally unprecedented. Jabrill Peppers, also recruited to Michigan as a five-star safety, saw playing time on both sides of the ball during his three-year tenure in Ann Arbor; catching 10 passes for 82 yards and rushing 45 times for 239 yards and five touchdowns.
Either way, Hill says he’s coming to Michigan ready to play, no matter where it is.
“I’ll play whatever position they want me to,” Hill said. “I’m just looking to compete and try to play my freshman year.”