The Recruiting Guy:

NLR receiver Hill will end all the suspense today

By: Richard Davenport
Published: Friday, August 29, 2014
North Little Rock Charging Wildcats' K.J. Hill keeps his eye on the end zone during their game against the Lake Hamilton Wolves Sept. 6, 2013 at North Little Rock High School.
Photo by Melissa Gerrits
North Little Rock Charging Wildcats' K.J. Hill keeps his eye on the end zone during their game against the Lake Hamilton Wolves Sept. 6, 2013 at North Little Rock High School.

North Little Rock receiver K.J. Hill, a major target of Arkansas, will announce his oral commitment to one of his five finalists at 10 a.m. today at the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame inside Verizon Arena in North Little Rock.

The announcement will be carried live by ESPN.com.

The Razorbacks made an impact on Hill and his stepfather and mother during an Aug. 16 visit. Hill had planned originally to make his announcement Sept. 15, his birthday.

"I just decided to do it before the season so I could just get that out of the way," he said.

Hill, 6-1, 192 pounds, 4.42 seconds in the 40-yard dash, has narrowed approximately 20 scholarship offers down to Arkansas, Alabama, Florida, Notre Dame and Ohio State.

ESPN rates Hill the No. 25 wide receiver and the No. 208 overall prospect in the nation. He and his mother, Diedra, along with his stepfather, Montez Peterson, liked what they saw and heard during their recent trip to Arkansas. Hill said he wants to go somewhere that he can make a big impact.

"I want to go somewhere I'm comfortable at and the school that showed the most love," he said.

Hill was named the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's All-Arkansas Preps Offensive Player of the Year last season after catching 63 passes for 1,143 yards and 16 touchdowns as a junior.

North Little Rock Coach Brad Bolding said he hasn't been immune from the hoopla surrounding Hill's announcement and said several have asked him about the receiver.

"The question people ask is where is he going," Bolding said. "I just told them you'll know Friday, because that's his decision."

Hill and his parents watched the Razorbacks scrimmage with Mike Anderson, Arkansas' men's basketball coach, Jimmy Dykes, the women's basketball coach, and former Razorbacks football player Marvin Caston, who is now the associate director of the Razorback Foundation, during their recent trip to Fayetteville.

"It meant a lot," Hill said. "I didn't expect them to come. Then they talked to me one-on-one. They were just telling me they would love for me to come, they need me and stuff like that."

"Other than just a football coach, a basketball coach coming in, that was big. Marvin came in there. He knows J.J. [Meadors], who I work out with. He was just talking to me, not even about recruiting but about life in general. It was just about life, the future and what I can do as well as what to watch out for. Stuff like that."

Bolding said he has been with Hill twice when Razorback fans have encouraged him to stay in state.

"One of them was at the fitness center and that guy was loud," Bolding said. "He wasn't just calling the Hogs. He was yelling it out, "Go Hogs." So that stuff has been fun."

A STAR CITY STAR

Junior defensive lineman Austin Capps of Star City is somewhat of a veteran of the recruiting process, considering he received a scholarship offer from Arkansas a few weeks after completing the ninth grade.

Capps, 6-3 1/2, 307 pounds, 5.1 seconds in the 40-yard dash, dominated during Arkansas' three-day camp in June of last year, which led to the offer. He has since added offers from Louisville and Mississippi State and is drawing interest from Alabama, Auburn and Ole Miss.

He has visited Fayetteville several times since receiving his offer and feels comfortable with the coaches and players.

"I like the people and location," he said. "Fayetteville is a great town, and I feel like I'm at home there."

Capps recorded 103 tackles, 31 tackles for loss, 10 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, recovered 1 fumble and blocked 1 punt and was named to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's All-Arkansas Preps Super Sophomore team.

Earlier in the week Capps recorded a 370-pound bench press, an increase from 350 in the spring. He and the Bulldogs open the season Sept. 5 against Lonoke.

"I feel like I've improved my footwork and gotten a lot stronger," Capps said.

National recruiting analyst Tom Lemming of CBS Sports Network said he believes Capps will be a high school All-American.

"Austin immediately jumps out at you with his size, quickness, lateral movement, strength and the power to dominate from the defensive tackle position," Lemming said.

Capps plans to attend games at Arkansas, Auburn, Alabama and Mississippi State in the fall.

E-mail Richard Davenport at

rdavenport@arkansasonline.com

Sports on 08/29/2014

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