Jonah Hill, a 6-foot-4, 245-pound tight end, was a nice addition to Arkansas State's recruiting class in July. With the uncertainly that comes with losing the head coach, the Red Wolves assistants are trying hard to keep Hill's commitment intact. The Show Me State prospect caught up with AStateNation.com to give the latest on his current recruiting situation.
"Arkansas State has a lot of things going on lately with Coach Malzahn leaving," said Jonah Hill. "I was disappointed when I found out because [Malzahn] was a big part of why I committed. I'm going to reevaluate things and see what's going to happen next at Arkansas State. Before this happened, I was 99-percent sure I was going to go there. I'm still committed, but now I'm going to rethink what's best for me.
"I spoke to Coach Jackson and Coach Lashlee the night Malzahn accepted the Auburn job. Coach Jackson is going to come up in a couple of days to have lunch with me and talk about it. The coaches told me my scholarship would still be honored. Malzahn leaving was just so unexpected and I think, from talking to them, even they were a little surprised by it."
Even without Malzahn on the sidelines, there are many things Hill likes about the Red Wolves program that may keep him from going in a different direction.
"They're doing some nice renovations," Hill said. "You get good schooling. I'm looking into Nursing and they have a great program for that. It's just a great football environment to be in. I felt at home, even though I wasn't. Each coach was real to me and made me feel like part of the family. I also like what they do with the tight end. They like to move the tight end around to play H-back, tight end on the line, or split out at wide receiver. It's something I want to be a part of."
At Hillcrest High School in Springfield, Mo., Hill showed his athleticism by taking over the role of quarterback and leading the Hornets to a 10-2 record.
"We felt like it was the best move for our team after the quarterback went down," Hill said on the change of position. "I threw for 1878 yards and 11 touchdowns and rushed for 850 yards and 15 touchdowns. I was named to the Second Team All-Ozark League as an all-purpose player.
"I'm a little banged up right now. I had a high ankle sprain that got worse as the season went on, but I held it together. I've been sitting on it for three weeks but it's still bothering me. I usually play basketball, but I'm going to skip it this year and just keep conditioning in the weight room."
Hill plans on making his official visit to Jonesboro in January. Although he hasn't received other offers, he said his head coach, John Beckham, has fielded calls from Missouri, Tulsa, Kansas State, and Wyoming expressing interest in him.