2013 Virginia Football Roster Profile: D.J. Hill

USA TODAY Sports

Today marks 29 days until BYU. The Hoos have two #29s, LBs D.J. Hill and Adam Caplinger. Today, we're taking a look at Hill. We'll look at Caplinger later on. Hill started twice last year when LaRoy Reynolds was hurt, and performed well. He actually led the team in tackles against Louisiana Tech. Hill is a good cover LB, which makes him an asset against teams with good TEs.

Position: OLB
Height: 6'0"
Weight: 220
Hometown: Covington, Ga
High School: Newton HS
Year: Junior

Coming out of Georgia, Hill had a few SEC offers and was recruited (but never offered) by UGA. A trip up to Charlottesville was all that it took for the Hoos to get a commitment. A 4 year starter, he was rated a 3 star recruit by all the recruiting services. He was ranked the #41 LB in the nation by Rivals, #103 by Scout and #81 by ESPN. He also played S and RB in HS, but was recruited by the Hoos to play OLB.

As a true freshman, Hill played in 11 of the team's 13 games, almost entirely on special teams. He had 2 tackles. Last year, Hill also saw action on special teams but was also heavily involved in the defense. He started two games while LaRoy Reynolds was injured, and had 11 tackles and a pass broken up in those two games. He had 2 other tackles on the season.

Hill's strength as a LB is his coverage ability. He's quick and he's fast and he makes his reads quickly. He talks about watching video as much as possible in order to help him read routes. He gets good depth in coverage and can turn and run with most TEs and many RBs in man coverage. Against a WR, he's not going to be able to run with them, but he'll do a good job staying with them in a zone. He's also got good hands, picking off double digit passes as a junior in college (with 6 TD returns).

Against the run, he's more of an "edge contain" guy than a "fill the gap" guy. While he's more than capable of putting his shoulder into a RB, he's more likely to move laterally and use his quickness to keep a guy in front of him before bringing him down. He can also come off the edge when needed, but that isn't his strength.

Hill is listed as the backup WLB behind DaQuan Romero, although the two are not really similar players. Romero played DE in HS and is more of an attacking LB who loves to rush the passer. Hill is a cover guy, smaller and quicker than Romero. The way that Coach Tenuta likes to use his LBs, there won't be as much difference between the Will and the Sam. Both players will be used to attack the backfield at times, and both will be used in coverage at times. Hill may see time on the field with Romero, and he may see time on the field with Demeitre Brim. He will also continue to see time on special teams, where he's a real asset.

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