USC running backs coach Montario Hardesty is putting in the recruiting effort with RB Daniel Hill (6-1 215) of Meridian, MS, and as a result, the relationship between the two has become a pretty strong bond. Head coach Shane Beamer also has been working Hill since offering him. In fact, Hill feels the entire Gamecock staff has become quite close to him.
“When they offered me, it was very exciting,” Hill said. “I can’t really put a date on when it happened but it’s been a few months. Ever since then we’ve been building a good relationship. Me, Coach Beamer, really me and the whole staff, especially some of the new guys that just came in, they’ve been texting me here and there lately. We’ve just been building a relationship since they offered. Coach Hardesty, me and him have had a relationship ever since the day he offered. I can’t lie, we talk every day just about. That’s a good thing. I really just love everything about South Carolina, especially how they are trying to build a relationship with a player.”
Hill said he and Hardesty have crossed paths a few times in the recruiting process, and that’s one reason he feels pretty close to him.
“I went to the South Carolina-Tennessee game and he showed me around and that really built the relationship more, seeing him in person,” Hill said. “He came to my school I’d say four or five times, and I’ve been up there. That’s something that really clicked for me and him, the fact that we both have been to see each other and we both communicate often.”
Hill picked a great night to be in Columbia when the Gamecocks went up and down the field against Tennessee. It was the perfect type of recruiting setting to bolster the Gamecocks’ efforts with him and other recruits.
“I’m not going to lie, that’s the best football game experience I’ve been to my whole life,” Hill said. “I’m just going to be real. Just going to games in general, that’s been the best atmosphere I’ve been around. I just imagined myself playing in front of that crowd. That’s a whole different mindset.”
As part of their recruiting work with Hill, Beamer and his staff conducted a virtual visit with Hill and his parents last week.
“Most of them were just introducing themselves to my parents,” Hill said. “They were showing me some of the things they have at the school. I’ve been up there, but when I went up there, I really didn’t get to see everything. When I go back up there in the spring, I’ll get a more in-depth look at everything South Carolina has to offer.”
Last season was Hill’s first at running back as he made the move from receiver. He’s also a track athlete, and he believes his versatility is what has impressed Hardesty the most about hm.
“When I first started playing high school football I started out at receiver,” Hill said. “I got bigger and taller and they wanted to try me out at running back. I’ve only really played one year of running back. Just my versatility of being able to run the ball and also catch it out the backfield, that’s really what clicked to him.”
Hill went to Alabama for their junior day in January, and that was his only visit that month. He is planning to take spring visits to USC, Alabama, Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Arkansas and is trying to finalize dates around his track schedule. He said Hardesty has talked to him about an official visit with the Gamecocks on June 22nd.
In November Hill named a top ten of USC, Tennessee, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Texas A&M, Auburn, LSU, Penn State, Arkansas and Alabama. He said he still hasn’t put his favorites in any particular order at this point.
Last season Hill rushed for 1371 yards and 21 touchdowns while catching passes for 623 yards and four scores.