Wisconsin Football has picked up a commitment from 2021 quarterback Deacon Hill. What does his addition mean for the Badgers moving forward?
Quarterbacks tend to be the centerpieces of most recruiting classes for college football programs given the importance of the position and the necessity of having talent there in order to win consistently. Additionally, given the leadership skills that many young signal callers who are considered good enough to lead an offense at the Power 5 level possess, these kids often are the vocal leaders of their respective classes and play a large role in attracting additional players to the program.
It may still be extremely early in the 2021 recruiting cycle, but Wisconsin has already found its man under center in that class.
Riding a wave of momentum from the 2020 recruiting trail this week with the commitments of linebackers Jordan Turner (Monday afternoon) and Malik Reed (Tuesday morning), the Badgers snagged an early pledge from Santa Barbara (CA) Senior quarterback Deacon Hill on Tuesday afternoon.
Ranked by 247Sports as a 3-star prospect and the nation’s No. 522 overall player ( the No. 30 pro-style quarterback), the 6’4, 225-pound rising junior chose Wisconsin over additional scholarship offers from Kansas State and Nevada. Hill was also picking up interest from schools such as Washington State, San Diego State, Fresno State, UNLV, Hawaii, BYU, Oregon, Tennessee, and Notre Dame.
Hill’s recruitment serves as the latest example of quarterbacks coach Jon Budmayr and the rest of the Wisconsin staff identifying a player they like under center before most other schools have caught the scent and then locking down a commitment relatively early in the recruiting process. The Badgers were the first program to offer Hill back in May and moved quickly to get him on campus for a visit on June 15. Just ten days later, he became the third player to commit to the program in the class of 2021.
Given how early it is in his recruitment and how heavily the staff is focusing on locking up top targets in the 2020 class, casual Wisconsin fans may not have had Hill on their radars up until the point when he tweeted out his commitment. So, what exactly are the Badgers getting in the West Coast product?
Aside from his Ben Roethlisberger-like frame that should hold up well in the smashmouth brand of football that is played in the Big Ten, the first thing that stands out about Hill on tape is his arm talent. He’s relatively accurate and has the type of cannon that you just can’t teach, and even at his young age, he’s capable of making some extremely tough throws both down and across the field that most of his peers would struggle with.
Though he moves pretty well in the pocket, Hill probably isn’t going to be a dual-threat guy in Madison given his size. However, in Paul Chryst’s pro-style offense, it’s not exactly mandatory for quarterbacks to be able to make big plays with their legs.
While the mechanics might need to be cleaned up a bit, Hill is obviously still very young and has plenty of time to grow in that area under Budmayr’s tutelage. However, as mentioned, he has the type of physical talent at quarterback that you just can’t teach, and it will be fascinating to watch his development over the coming years. Consider Hill a ball of clay that is just waiting to be molded, and fans should feel pretty confident in the ability of Chryst, Budmayr, and company to develop him effectively.
Hill joins running back Jackson Acker (Verona, WI) and offensive lineman JP Benzschawel (Grafton, WI) in Wisconsin’s 2021 class.