5-Star Anthony Hill hints at relationship for A&M winning over Texas football

Jimbo Fisher Mandatory Credit: Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports
Jimbo Fisher Mandatory Credit: Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports /

Potentially the biggest miss to date for head coach Steve Sarkisian and his staff for the 2023 Texas football recruiting class occurred earlier this week. Right at noon on July 30, Texas officially missed out on the elite five-star Denton-Ryan linebacker Anthony Hill, who announced his commitment on social media to the in-state rival Texas A&M Aggies.

This commitment from Hill to head coach Jimbo Fisher and the Aggies came following his unofficial visit to see College Station earlier in the week. The unofficial visit for Hill to College Station this week was his first trip since his official visit back on the weekend of June 24 to Austin to see the Longhorns.

The announcement on July 30 from Hill did come as a bit of a surprise as it was originally anticipated that he would be on a decision timeline that would peg his commitment to come about in August or September.

But this sped-up decision timeline indicates the successful push that the Aggies were able to make to begin closing out the summer visit cycle on the recruiting trail.

So, what was the main factor that sealed the deal for the Aggies over the Longhorns to land this coveted commitment from Hill?

There is a lot of speculation that NIL had a lot to do with Hill picking the Aggies over the Longhorns. And while it is certainly very plausible that NIL money played a role in Hill picking Texas A&M over Texas, I don’t think that’s the only factor here.

It looks like two of the biggest reasons why Hill picked the Aggies over the Longhorns were the relationships he had with the staff in College Station and the impact he can make on this Texas A&M defense.

Relationships a big factor for 5-Star LB Anthony Hill choosing Texas A&M over Texas football

A report from AggieYell (Texas A&M’s Rivals site) this weekend indicates that Hill feels like he had the strongest relationships with the Aggies staff throughout his recruitment. He cited Texas A&M essentially being the first major FBS school to offer him as a big reason for the strong connection that was cultivated with that staff.

That just goes to show how important it is to identify those burgeoning in-state talents early on. Yet, it does look like early identification of elite talent in-state is something that Sark and the Longhorns staff are starting to do better.

We must remember that Sark and his staff are just in their second year at the helm. Meanwhile, Fisher and his staff are gearing up for their fifth season in College Station.

Texas will be able to start converting on more of these early identifications of elite talent for the 2024 and 2025 recruiting cycles, especially if they can find heightened success on the field this fall.

Moreover, it is also worth noting that Hill will be coming into an opportune situation where he can make an immediate impact on this defensive front with the Aggies. Hill is the type of talent that can start right away at most Power Five schools. And that will likely be the case whether he sticks it out through signing day with Texas A&M, or if Texas is able to pull off the improbable and flip him to the Longhorns in the next few months.

Texas A&M has elite talent and depth along the defensive line, largely thanks to the haul they had with the No. 1 ranked 2022 class in the nation. Hill will benefit from lining up in this defensive front behind all this NFL-caliber talent in the trenches.

It was a pretty simple and effective pitch for the Aggies staff to convince Hill that his immediate impact on this defense combined with the talent he’d have around him in the front seven would make for the best situation for him. Texas doesn’t have that proven defensive line talent in the mix yet, albeit I do think Bo Davis is making strides in this regard.

All in all, it looks like the combination of the strong ties/relationships that Hill had with the Aggies staff and the beneficial situation he’ll find himself in with this defensive front right away gave Texas A&M the edge over Texas in this recruitment. Texas A&M has proved they can recruit at an extremely high level of late on the defensive side of the ball.

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Texas missing out on Hill likely doesn’t mean that the coaching staff is going to stop recruiting him. I believe that Texas could still have a chance to flip Hill’s commitment if they keep pushing while showing ample improvement on the defensive side of the ball this fall.