Anthony Hill Jr., LB
The true freshman for the Longhorns who received the most attention for his contributions on the field this season was the former elite five-star recruit from Denton (TX) Ryan High School, linebacker Anthony Hill Jr. The No. 1 rated linebacker recruit in the nation in the 2023 class in the 247Sports Composite was an instant impact player along the Texas defensive front this fall.
Hill helped co-DC Pete Kwiatkowski and the Longhorns upgrade the pass rush while getting a true playmaker at weakside linebacker/hybrid edge rusher. He was an impactful player from Day 1 on the 40, who also helped the Longhorns fill the void left by senior linebacker DeMarvion Overshown, who entered the NFL Draft last spring.
He was the instant impact linebacker the Longhorns needed as a true freshman this year.
The breakout performance for Hill this season took place in the biggest game of the non-conference slate, in Texas's double-digit win in Tuscaloosa in Week 2 over the No. 3 Alabama Crimson Tide. Hill was a force in the pass rush, making Alabama quarterback Jalen Milroe's life in the pocket uncomfortable throughout the game.
Hill finished up the win over Alabama with a team-high two sacks and four quarterback pressures.
Not only was Hill an immediate impact pass rusher for PK and the Longhorns this season, but he also got better challenging space and reading lanes in run defense as the fall progressed. In the last two games, Hill registered four run stops and didn't have a single missed tackle in run defense.
Multiple outlets around the college football media landscape honored Hill with Freshman All-American nods this year. ESPN, College Football News, and On3 are just a few of the media outlets that gave Hill First-Team Freshman All-American honors at linebacker this year.