Does UGA have a good shot to land a commitment from the teammate of quarterback commitment Jake Fromm?
Let’s get real straight to the answer with a Mecole Hardman, Jr. sense of urgency. Yes.
Houston County junior offensive lineman Deontrey Hill plays left tackle and protects Fromm’s blind side, but will be a guard in college. The 6-foot-5, 325-pounder has become one of the hottest junior offensive line prospects in the Southeast over the last two months.
“I love Trey Hill, man,” Fromm said. “I love him. He’s my left tackle. I would do anything in the world for him.”
Hill got his first offer from Mercer on April 29. His first SEC offer followed from Mississippi State on May 4. Michigan State offered on the same day. Hill checked off his Tennessee offer on May 18, Georgia on June 3 and Auburn on June 5.
The junior has also piled up offers from Clemson and Michigan over the last two weeks. He camped at Alabama last weekend.
“He does really well at camps and even better on Friday nights,” Houston County coach Von Lassiter said.
247sports rates Hill as a four-star prospect and the nation’s No. 21 offensive tackle for 2018. He’s ranked as the nation’s No. 165 overall recruit.
Lassiter said the 16-year-old Hill would be willing to play anywhere on the line in college. He mentioned center as a viable option because of his ability to snap the ball well.
What sort of shot does UGA have with Hill?
“Most kids around here want to play close to home,” Lassiter said. “He’s also got some friends that are close to Georgia as far as guys from this area. He transferred and played his ninth grade year in Montezuma before he moved here. There’s a guy from down there (Roquan Smith) who went to Georgia. He knows him well. Kids close by here want to play for their home state. Whether he eventually plays at Georgia I don’t know, but I do know that he was very excited that he got the offer from Georgia.”
Fromm is taking a conservative approach right now with pushing his interests about seeing him join him at Georgia.
“I am going to let him ride it out a little bit,” Fromm said. “It is now his (time) for a recruiting process today. Everybody wants to get out and feel wanted, but at the end of the day I feel really good about it.”
Does he think the Bulldogs have a good shot with Hill?
“Absolutely,” Fromm said.
Hill got the royal treatment on his last trip to Athens. He was picked up in an Escalade to tour the campus and the Houston County staff didn’t see much more of him.
“They are trying to lock him down,” Lassiter said. “They like him and they want him. He likes Georgia as well. Georgia is really doing a good job of recruiting him. … He likes Georgia a lot. Georgia is already doing an outstanding job of recruiting him.”
Lassiter described Hill as a “quiet and humble kid” who “comes from a great family” and is “always where he is supposed to be on time” as he broke down what he likes about his big tackle.
“He works really hard in the weight room and is a young kid but he is really stepping up hard into that leadership role for us,” Lassiter said. “He has got a lot of upside with his game. Got some growing still to do I think. He’s not through growing. I think whoever gets him will be really fortunate.”
The Houston County coach believes Hill will make an early decision.
“I think he is getting close to having all the offers he wants,” Lassiter said. “Hopefully, he will have the opportunities to go ahead and make his decision based on the offers he has by the end of the summer. When that will be I don’t know. We talked about it a little bit, but not a lot. I like for our guys, when they have the offers they want, to go ahead and get that decision out of the way and that distraction so they can focus on being a very good high school player for us.”
Hill started for Macon County with Smith as a freshman. He’s able to physically just overpower defensive linemen at the high school level. The anticipated match-up in the season opener with Mary Persons four-star defensive end Malik Herring — another big UGA target for 2017 — will be a great test to see where Hill is at at the beginning of his junior year.
The UGA target has slimmed down for his junior year. There were times last season when he was over the 335-pound mark.
“He’s a kid who is not a high-maintenance kid,” Lassiter said. “He’s enjoyed all of his visits so far. I know that. But he don’t hardly ever say a word. Just a ‘yes, sir’ and a ‘no, sir’ guy all the time. Whatever you ask him to do, he does. He works hard in the weight room and works hard on the field. He’s just a good, hard, solid kid.”
Lassiter said to expect the decision to come down to three schools, but he declined to reveal exactly which schools those might be.
“He’s still trying to figure it all out but I know this: He is really excited about the Georgia offer,” Lassiter said.
Jeff Sentell covers UGA football and UGA recruiting for AJC.com and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow him on Twitter for the latest on who’s on their way to play Between the Hedges. Unless otherwise indicated, player rankings and ratings are from the 247Sports Composite.