Justin Hill

Top 50 EDGE Justin Hill Gives the Latest

CINCINNATI — There isn’t a more important recruiting target left on the board for Ohio State than Cincinnati (Ohio) Winton Woods EDGE prospect Justin Hill. The 6-foot-4, 220-pound prospect is among the nation’s Top 50 prospects in the 2025 class and is one of the elite players in the state of Ohio.

As such, Hill has been getting plenty of attention from the Ohio State coaching staff. Linebackers coach James Laurinaitis, defensive coordinator Jim Knowles and even cornerbacks coach and area recruiter Tim Walton are pitching in to make Hill know he’s a priority for the Buckeyes.

“Most schools just think they’re trying to get (him) because I’m an Ohio kid, but there’s really a relationship there,” Hill told BuckeyeHuddle.com on Thursday. “They really have ideas for me. I was sitting in coach Knowles’ office and he was showing me clips of what he wants me to be at that JACK position.”

Hill is a bit of a prototype as a standup rush end who can also play in space. The pitch of being used that way has been resonating well with him.

“I like that position because I feel like with my versatility, I kind of compare myself to like Micah Parsons even though I’m not on that level yet, but I like to cause havoc like he does,” Hill said.

Hill was last at Ohio State in January as part of the Buckeyes’ big Junior Day. He’ll be back a couple more times this spring and summer.

“I have one in March, spring ball, I think it’s the 19th,” Hill said. “I’ll be up for one of my last OV’s, it will be Ohio State or Oregon, for my last official visit. So I’ll be up to Columbus at least two more times before I commit.”

When he gets back to campus, he’ll surely be spending a lot of time with James Laurinaitis. The Buckeyes securing Laurinaitis’ future in Columbus by naming him linebackers coach this winter landed well with several recruiting targets and Hill is no different.

“It was really great,” Hill said. “It’s nice to know that I’d be coached by someone who has done it at that position, at that school, at the highest of levels. He played in the NFL for a ton of years and he just knows ball. He knows the ins and outs. You know that the person who is teaching you has experience and it builds more trust for sure.”

Hill’s strong relationship with the Buckeyes and childhood fandom are helping Ohio State but there are plenty of national powers who are hoping he bucks the trend.

“Oregon, USC has made a strong push recently, and Penn State, and Alabama,” he said, when asked which other schools are recruiting him the hardest.

Hill will be back at Alabama in April for the first time since Nick Saban announced his retirement. That news rocked the college football world and even altered Hill’s recruitment.

“Alabama was literally up there with Ohio State and I saw (the news) and it was just crazy,” he said.

After a round of a spring unofficial visits, Hill will sit down and map out at least five official visits, which will likely take place in June. From there, a decision in the month of July is expected. Hill discussed the key factors that will go into his decision.

“Development,” he said. “I know that sounds cliché but development for sure. I want a home vibe, I want to be happy. I love football and going out and working to be better so I don’t want to dread going out and doing that so just being somewhere that makes me happy. Then life after football, all of that stuff. I will never say playing early, that’s on me. Relationships and trust with my coaches.”

Catch more of what Hill had to say about the Buckeyes and his recruiting process in our one-on-one interview with one of the nation’s most talented pass rushers.

Go to discussion...