Holton Hill, CB, Texas
Draft Prospect Outlook:
Long, aggressive outside corner. Plant-and-drive is slower than most cornerbacks but his length makes up for it. Ideal frame and skill set to match bigger WR1s on the outside in the NFL.
A 247Sports Composite four-star recruit, Holton Hill comes from a storied Houston (Texas) Lamar program that’s produced numerous NFL draft choices: Rod Babers (2003), Brian Orakpo (2009), Brandon LaFell (2010) and Josh Gordon (2012). Hill seemed destined to follow Babers and Orakpo as Lamar products drafted out of Texas early in a true freshman season (2015) where he started the last eight games of the year at cornerback. Hill returned the only interception of his true freshman season for a touchdown against Oklahoma State. An honorable mention All-Big 12 selection as a true freshman, Hill appeared to be on his way to stardom as the next top-notch cornerback to come out of the Texas program. That did not materialize in 2016, however, as Hill was limited to three starts and five total games for reasons that were never made clear by former head coach Charlie Strong and his staff.
With a new lease on life under head coach Tom Herman and defensive coordinator Todd Orlando in 2017, Hill had by far his best season as a Longhorn. In nine games, Hill returned two interceptions for touchdowns in back-to-back weeks to start the season. Teams became reluctant to throw at Hill, which hurt his overall production (51 tackles, two interceptions, six pass breakups, one forced fumble). With all three of his career interceptions being returned for touchdowns, Hill left Texas ranking No. 2 on the school’s career list for interception returns for touchdowns and No. 2 all-time in non-offensive touchdowns (a blocked field goal return against Maryland in 2017 for four total touchdowns). Hill was suspended for the final three games of the regular season and for the Texas Bowl against Missouri due to a violation of team rules. He declared for the draft prior to the bowl game. - Jeff Howe, Horns247