Signed: In 2008 from Northeastern Oklahoma A&M
Key Stat: 46. That’s the number of solo tackles made by Hill last season. His total was 77, which was good for third on the team in tackles. Those numbers should climb this season as Hill has slide down from the secondary to the linebacker spot.
Why he will start: Gary DeLoach likes what Hill, a thick body, can do from the linebacker position. With the depth the Mean Green has at safety, North Texas could afford to make the change. Hill moving to linebacker in essence makes North Texas more of a 4-2-5 defense because Hill can play up near the line but also cover like a DB. He’s goes into the fall as the starter at this position because it essentially is a new spot created just for him.
Why he won’t start: Jason Phillips shows up instead of Jeremy during 2-a-days. Phillips, Jeremy that is, (brother Jason was a star linebacker at TCU), is doing exactly what Hill is doing in moving down from the secondary to the linebacker spot. He had a great spring and really impressed with his mobility. His only problem is experience and one would think the time spent behind Hill, a senior, will be nothing but beneficial for Phillips who is still just a redshirt freshman with a ton of talent.
Overall: Hill moving to the linebacker position gives the North Texas defensive a lot of flexibility to get the most talent on the field at one time. The biggest question mark for Hill is how quick he can learn the nuances between the secondary and the linebacker position. With Hill moving the Mean Green is hoping it gets the best of both worlds, a sure tackler who can also cover a slot receiver or fourth receiver as a linebacker.