Ohio State Loses Recruiting Battle to Alabama for Elite In-State Recruit

Ohio State lost out on a major in-state recruit. On Wesnesday, Winton Woods EDGE Justin Hill chose Alabama instead of the Buckeyes.
Justin hill alabama

The top edge rusher from the state of Ohio has made his decision. On Wednesday, Justin Hill, a four-star edge rusher from Winton Woods, Ohio, decided to commit to Alabama. 247Sports considers Hill to be the 60th-best overall recruit, seventh-best edge, and fourth-best recruit from Ohio.

With Hill now in the fold, Alabama’s recruiting class has 22 commits and three on the defensive line. He chose Alabama over the likes of Ohio State, Oregon, and USC. Kalen DeBoer goes into Ryan Day’s backyard and plucks one of the top athletes in the state.

Four-Star EDGE Picks Alabama Over Big Ten Powers

The 6′-3″, 220-pound Hill has been an emergent star for one of Cincinnati’s premier high school programs. Once he adds a bit of mass to his already impressive frame, Hill projects to be a regular Power 4 contributor.

As a sophomore, Hill broke out to the tune of 42 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, five-and-a-half sacks, and an 80-yard interception return. Last season, he took a step forward. In total, he amassed 36 tackles, 16 tackles for loss, 13 sacks, and a pair of forced fumbles. He was named to the Division II All-Ohio First Team for his efforts in 2023.

Perhaps his best qualities at this juncture lie within his speed and reaction time. Hill has a top-tier first step off the snap which has helped him get around the edge to create pressure. In addition to that speed, he has great bent around the edge. He can beat tackles with both speed and power moves and will only get better as he continues to mature physically.

He projects to be an outside linebacker in a 3-4 or a hybrid edge rusher in a 4-3 system. Even in a 4-3 system, Hill has the athleticism to potentially develop into a weakside linebacker. He can make the plays coaches expect and he can also get the chase-down plays if the ball goes away from his positioning.

The Buckeyes have had a strong recruiting class for a while but are currently on a losing streak with top targets. Alabama, on the other hand, is not missing a step with the retirement of Nick Saban.


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