QB commit Deacon Hill talks UCLA offer, spring football in California
Since Deacon’s Hill’s commitment to Wisconsin in June of 2019, things have been relatively quiet and stress-free for the three-star quarterback from Santa Barbara High School in California.
But earlier this month, two events forced the 6-foot-4, 225-pound rising senior to make some important decisions.
The first: High school football was pushed to the winter and spring due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the California Interscholastic Federation announced.
“As soon as I found out they were moving football to the spring, I knew I was staying home,” Hill said on the BadgerBlitz.com podcast last week. “There was no question about it and no doubt that I was going to stay. The (Wisconsin) coaches supported my decision that I wanted to stay.
“I grew up with my friends intending to play all four years of high school with them and we’ve talked about being seniors together and running on that field for the last time. We also get our home stadium after the construction for our senior year, so I’m not leaving. I’m staying put where I am.”
Hill, who was recruited by position coach Jon Budmayr, was considering early enrollment at UW for the spring semester in Madison.
“I was still deciding and I wasn’t leaning towards it - it was still 50/50,” Hill said. “I’m taking my class right now to get that last elective class done so I could potentially go if I wanted to. Once I found out football was moving to the spring, it made my decision a lot easier.
“I’m just been working on my body, diet-wise, cardio-wise. I’m doing a lot of cardio work and a bunch of weight stuff. I’m trying to prepare as much as I can for the season and how much better I can get from my junior to senior season.”
The second: UCLA, the university where Hill’s three older sisters (Abbi Hill is currently a sophomore) excelled in water polo at, recently extended a scholarship.
“I’m fully committed to Wisconsin,” Hill said. “You know, the UCLA offer is a cool offer to have - just another feather in my cap. I really want to thank them for having interest in me and that was one of the main reasons why I tweeted it out, to show thanks and gratitude to them for having interest in me. It compliments all the work that I’ve been putting in and it shows that people are starting to see how you’re doing and how you’re moving forward in a weird time.
“They (Wisconsin) were the first to believe in me and the first to take that one shot on a kid from Santa Barbara. They saw something in me that I knew was there and that my high school coach knew was there, but no one else was ready to pull the trigger. And then Wisconsin pulled it, so that was obviously a big attraction. They were the first ones there and when I took my visit, it already felt like home. It doesn’t matter the distance, as long as I feel right. Everything about Wisconsin just felt perfect.”
Commit No. 3 for the Badgers in the 2021 cycle Hill has been instrumental is putting together a recruiting class that is currently No. 17 in the country.
“It’s really cool to see every come together,” Hill said. “When I started off as an early commit, there were maybe three or four us who were committed - me, Riley (Mahlman) J.P. (Benzschawel) and maybe one other like Jackson (Acker) or Loyal (Crawford). It was really cool to see it come together, piece by piece, and every month it was one or two more. And then the coaches telling us we need to go after these guys. The guys you go after start to really embrace Wisconsin and commit there, so it was really cool to see everything develop.
"We’re going after Skyler Bell. Him and and then Joseph Manjack, he’s the other receiver we’re going after right now. He’s an athlete and he plays a lot of positions. He’s a receiver in a college and we’re going after him.”
Wisconsin currently has 15 commitments in the senior class.