When you are the main defensive player on great defensive unit at Cardinal Mooney, there is no question that you are a player. And when you play the way that Taylor Hill plays, then you join the ranks as one of the super players in the class for 2008.
Hill is one of four major college prospects from the super team at Cardinal Mooney to be featured on OUInsider.com, joining teammates Brandon Beachum (LB), Michael Zordich (LB) and Daniel McCarthy (S).
Ron Stoops, the older brother of OU's Bob Stoops, is the defensive coordinator at Cardinal Mooney which means that the Youngstown power is running the same zone blitz defense that has Oklahoma among the nation's elite defensively every year. With Beachum and Zordich lined up inside at linebacker, Hill takes an outside route.
"I play defensive end at Cardinal Mooney, but the way we play defensive end it is like playing outside linebacker," said Hill. "Last year I was in a stance, but this year Coach Stoops is talking about letting me stand up. I am being recruited as a linebacker in college and I really think that is where I am best suited to play at the next level."
Hill also plays some running back on offense, but as is the custom at Cardinal Mooney no stats are kept. It is that team concept that has led Cardinal Mooney to state championships two out of the last three years and a runner-up finish in the third season.
"It has been great to play for and go to school at Cardinal Mooney," said Hill. "Everybody is like a family here and we always set the bar high and work to reach that bar. We receive a lot of hype every year, but that makes it fun. I just like how we play like a team and how our school really supports us just as hard as we play."
Cardinal Mooney is not the first school to have four top-notch recruits, but the fact that all four players are recruited by the same schools, and in some cases all four have been offered by the same schools, makes their situation interesting to watch.
"It is great that we are all going through this together," said Hill. "We really don't think about it that much because we think so much about what we have to do now on our own football team. We do talk sometimes about all four of us going to the same school, but it is not our top priority right now. Our priority is the Cardinal Mooney football team and our academics."
Hill has been offered by Ohio State, Oklahoma, Syracuse, Michigan State, Miami of Ohio, Akron, Nebraska and Indiana .
"Right now by top three would be Ohio State, Oklahoma and Syracuse," said Hill. "At Oklahoma, I like the fact that there wouldn't be a big difference from what we do on defense. I would know it pretty well. A lot of their coaches are related or know our coaches, so there wouldn't be much of a difference."
Hill has been on an unofficial visit to Pittsburgh where he also picked up an offer. He also says he will attend the summer camp at Ohio State.
But the big question you're probably thinking about right now is if the fact that Oklahoma's Bob Stoops is a Youngstown native will have any effect on Hill's decision?
"It helps that he is from Youngstown," said Hill. "He is from around here and he knows a lot of people. He also knows about where I am from and that will help me in making my decision. Coach Ron Stoops is a great defensive coach for us. He is a real good guy, is easy to talk to and real easy going. He has taught us a lot about playing defense and is a very good coach."
Hill, McCarthy, Zordich and Beachum all plan to visit OU together sometime in the summer, so is it possible that all four could decide to go together to OU or any other school for that matter?
"I don't think it is that crazy of a thought," said Hill. "When we all talk about going together Oklahoma is one of the schools that we have all been offered together. I could see us all going there. We are still working on visiting there together. All we know so far is that it is going to be sometime this summer."
Hill says he plans on taking all of his visits and going through the complete recruiting process.