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Saturday, January 22, 2022

UF's defensive backfield is getting deeper by the day.

Will Hill, the consensus No. 1 safety recruit in the country, verbally committed to UF on Thursday night.

He chose the Gators over USC.

His announcement on ESPNU marked the Gators? third defensive back commitment in the last eight days.

BRight now I can tell you I?m going to be a Gator,C said Hill, who made the most of his TV appearance by breaking into a Gator chomp, fitting a blue Gators hat and putting on an orange tie.

He said UF coach Urban Meyer and offensive line coach Steve Addazio visited his school and he could Bfeel the energyC they brought with them from Gainesville.

Hill is a 6-foot-3, 203-pound, five-star prospect out of Jersey City?s (N.J.) St. Peter?s Prep and ESPN?s No. 2 overall player for the Class of 2008.

BThe kid?s a great athlete with great speed, great size and can play a variety of different positions,C national recruiting analyst Jamie Newberg said. BI would project him as a free safety at UF. He has great range, runs like a corner, hits like a linebacker.C

Hill joins an already talented class of defensive backs with almost five months left before National Signing Day.

Orlando?s Boone High cornerback Jeremy Brown settled on UF after Saturday?s win over Tennessee.

Hill said he and Brown became good friends on their Gainesville visits last weekend.

BThat kind of sealed the deal,C Hill said of Brown committing.

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Pahokee corner Janoris Jenkins chose UF on his ESPNU appearance Sept. 13.

The nation?s No. 2 safety, Dee Finley, committed to the Gators earlier this year.

Hill also plays quarterback for St. Peter?s Prep, but he wants to stick to defense next year.

BThey recruited me for safety, that?s one thing I like to do,C Hill said. BThat?s my passion right there to play defense. I?m the type of person that will come up and hit you.C

Hill, Finley and current UF freshman Major Wright will likely compete for two starting spots at safety in 2008.

Seniors Tony Joiner and Kyle Jackson started the first three games this season, though Wright is pushing Jackson at free safety.

Hill already knows about Wright.

BLast year, me and my father were on Rivals, and I saw this guy Major Wright,C Hill said. BI told my father right off the bat, 'I want to play with him.? He committed to Florida and, well, the secondary looked like it was loading up. I?m glad to be taken into it.C

Hill ended any suspense surrounding his decision when he canceled a visit to USC earlier this week.

In what has become a national recruiting battleground, UF has grabbed from the Trojans an uncommitted prospect in Hill, a USC oral commitment in class of 2007 offensive lineman James Wilson, and a transfer in running back Emmanuel Moody.

UF now has eight oral commitments, including two five-star players in Hill and Finley.

Scout and Rivals slot the Gators? 2008 class No. 25 and No. 27 respectively, but those rankings are sure to change with Hill?s announcement.

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