Anthony Hill Jr., LB
The other true freshman defender for the Longhorns, who has played significant snaps already this season but hasn’t started a game yet, is linebacker Anthony Hill Jr. The No. 1 linebacker recruit in the nation in the 2023 class in the 247Sports Composite out of Denton Ryan High School in North Texas has flashed his talents game in and game out this fall.
However, no performance was bigger for Hill than his breakout game against the No. 3 Alabama Crimson Tide on the road in Week 2. In just his second game in college, Hill put on a show against the Tide, registering six combined tackles, two tackles for loss, and two sacks to help Texas get the upset win in Tuscaloosa.
Hill continued to prove that he is a big game player for the Longhorns in Red River a few weeks ago. He got after Oklahoma quarterback Dillon Gabriel for multiple quarterback pressures and one sack. Hill also registered 1.5 tackles for loss, multiple defensive stops, and a pass breakup against the Sooners.
Along the way, Hill had some freshman moments. He’s looked lost in pass coverage on a few occasions, including on some crossing patterns over the middle in the win over Houston last weekend. But that is to be expected from a true freshman linebacker who is still growing into the role at the will spot.
Hill has looked better and more aware contesting space and covering the flats in pass defense as the season has progressed. And with some of the injuries Texas has experienced along the defensive front in the last few weeks, I’d expect Pete Kwiatkowski to ponder the idea of giving Hill a couple of starts down the stretch to further ingratiate him in the role he’s expected to fill full-time next season at will linebacker.