OSU looking at defensive force

A HOT PROSPECT and true technician up front, defensive tackle Derrick Hill (6-2, 270) out of Oakland's McClymonds High spent nearly as much time in the opponent's backfield as he did his own huddle—racking up 30 tackles for loss his junior season. Oregon State is "strongly" recruiting the defensive tackle who's up to 14 offers and counting, and he hails from the same stomping grounds as the OSU's Sir Henry Anderson and a pair of incoming Beavers.

OSU is looking hard at another McClymonds standout in Hill, and the connections to Beaver Football are many.

Oregon State last year mined McClymonds for tough, physical cornerback Patrick Henderson. Nick Thurston, a wrecking ball of a linebacker who played at McClymonds before transferring his senior year to Fresno High, was another unearthed gem the Beavs brought into the fold on LOI Day this February. Sir Henry Anderson was a terror at McClymonds during his prep days, and Anderson's and Hill's families are close.

"I'm getting looked at strongly by Oregon State," said Hill. "Oregon State is talking theirs (offering a scholarship) over." USC and Oklahoma are two other schools considering offering, with Hill possibly attending USC's camp later this summer. Hill has 14 offers to date from Cal, Arizona, Arizona State, Oregon, Washington State, Washington, Ole Miss, Colorado, Kansas, Kansas State, San Diego State, Mississippi State, Utah and UNLV.

Hill said its early and the list is subject to change, but there are a few that schools who stand out.

"Right now, my Top 5 is Cal, Arizona, Arizona State, Oregon and the fifth one is the hard one — I guess I'd have to say Washington or Washington State at No. 5."

"Cal, because they're right there in the backyard and I've spent a lot of time at Cal. I know a lot of players on the team personally. I like Arizona. And Arizona State's defense, they're fast and aggressive. That's something I really like."

A school with a good real estate curriculum will be a huge factor, with Hill saying he nearly committed to ASU after they talked to him about the real estate program there. He also has family in the Grand Canyon state.

"And I could probably even say Ole Miss is (tied for fifth) as they've shown a lot of interest as well. Their defensive line coach is very young, and he can well relate to the younger athlete, and also be out there physically with us, get down with us when we practice."

HILL CAN BULL RUSH with the best of them, but what sets him apart from his high school peers is his polish. One of Hill's moves that's turned the heads of college recruiters — the up and under McClymonds volunteer assistant and Washington State star DeWayne Patterson perfected out on the Palouse in the early 90s.

"That's one of the things all the scouts have noticed about him on film," said McClymonds coach Alonzo Carter. Along with his staff, the Warriors' head man has done a tremendous job building McClymonds into a burgeoning program and recruiting hotbed. Schools like Oregon State have taken notice.

"If you watch Derrick's film, (which will be on BF.C shortly), you'll see Derrick using Dewayne's up and under, his swim technique — all these moves, these patented moves DeWayne Patterson really helped him with."

Playing basketball, baseball and also a little tennis on the side have all translated to the gridiron for Hill, improving his feet and quickness.

"I'm a smart, aggressive athlete," said Hill. "I play more than one sport so I have agility that just a football player wouldn't have."

COMBINE PERFORMANCES this spring for Hill include tossing up 40 reps with 185 on the bar, a shuttle time of 4.5, and a vertical leap of 25 inches.

On defense in '04, Hill had 90 tackles with 30 TFL, 6 fumble recoveries, 7 forced fumbles, 1 TD and 12 sacks. He was the only junior named first team all-Bay area on defense. He's also been first team all-city as both a sophomore and junior.

"It was a cool year but wasn't as good as it could've been — we lost the championship by one point," said Hill.

IN A POSITION COACH, Hill isn't real particular about the kind of guy he wants to play for at the next level.

"I just want a guy who is going to give me an opportunity, that's all I want," said Hill. "Hey, they can be mean, nice, it doesn't matter."

Besides academics, Hill will look at other factors —- earning early playing time is somewhat important but only if he earns it, saying he sees the potential benefits that come along with redshirting over the course of his career, especially if he's not quite physically ready as a freshman to tangle with "the big boys".

"I'm going to have look at other things such as who they have coming back at my position, who is graduating," he said. "If they have young players, that gives me an opportunity. Not saying I can start, but second string isn't all that bad for an incoming freshman. Early playing time is important but its nothing that won't make me better if I earn it later. Now I've just got to really sit down and think about everything."

Hill plans on likely taking all five visits before making a decision.

Derrick Hill profile

Carter said Hill, a 3.0 student, has achieved a qualifying test score on the SAT.

McClymonds defensive line coach this year is Steve Moore, over from St. Mary's High.

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