A Favorite for Taylor Hill?

Youngstown, Ohio could send two excellent linebackers to Oklahoma this class in teammates Brandon Beachum and Taylor Hill, both of Cardinal Mooney High School. Hill has over a dozen scholarship offers at this point and plans to make a decision in the next several weeks.

The Stoops family connection at Cardinal Mooney High School looks like it could pay huge dividends this season as outside linebacker Taylor Hill recently informed Scout.com that Oklahoma is the current leader for his services, followed by LSU to round out his top two. This 6-foot-2, 205-pound defender will make a trip to Norman sometime in the next few weeks and plans to have a decision ready shortly thereafter.

"Right now Oklahoma and LSU are my top two schools, but Oklahoma is definitely my top choice at this point," Hill said. "I haven't been to Oklahoma yet, so I am going to talk to the coaching staff and set up a date this month to go out and take everything in and after that I would like to have my decision made by the first week of August at the very latest."

"Coach (Brent) Venables recruits me for Oklahoma and we talk pretty often about all kinds of things," Hill stated. "He is a cool guy and I like him a lot because he has a great attitude and from what I have heard from our coaching staff he has a coaching style that I could really thrive in. I also have spoken to Head Coach (Bob) Stoops twice and he just told me that he thought I would fit in best at outside linebacker in their scheme and thinks that I could see playing time pretty early there. We run the same defense that Oklahoma does and while I play defensive end now I see myself fitting in best playing strong side linebacker in the future. It would be very similar to what I play now as I do stand up and play the flats a lot and I think the learning curve at Oklahoma would be smaller then any other school because of that familiarity with the schemes."

Hill talked about what he looks forward to discovering on his visit to Norman later this month as well as what else he sees in the Sooner program that attracts him to it. While he is familiar with the athletic side of things at Oklahoma, academics will be one of the biggest priorities to learn about on his visit.

"I need to look into the academic side of things on my visi because I don't know much about them in that respect and want to get into business management because after speaking with my counselor at school I think that would give me the broad base I am looking for to give me options after football," Hill explained. "Obviously the ties to Youngstown that Oklahoma has let me know that the coaches there will take care of me and Oklahoma is a program that doesn't have ups and downs, but keeps a steady level of winning football going. I am just excited to get out there and see in person what I have been hearing so much about from our staff. We definitely are not being pressured to go to Oklahoma, but obviously Coach Stoops would be happy to see it happen. Like I said, I want to decide by the end of this month, so I could end up committing while I am on the visit depending on how things go."

"I also like LSU a lot, however I am not nearly as familiar with their program as I am with Oklahoma," Hill stated. "Obviously they have a great tradition of winning and although I only really caught a few games this year it was crazy watching them beat Notre Dame in the bowl game. Coach (Bo) Pelini recruits me for LSU and seems like a real good guy, so I like them as well."

As a junior, Hill registered 98 tackles and had 12 sacks for Cardinal Mooney. He holds a 2.9 core GPA in the classroom and scored an 18 on his ACT test which he will re-take in the fall.

While Hill states that he does have a top two at this point, when speaking with him it did seem that Oklahoma holds a sizable lead in this race due to his familiarity with the program and his lack of in depth knowledge of the Tigers. While either choice would obviously put Hill into an excellent football program the smart money would probably be on the Sooners to win out for his services.

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