Will Hill to forgo senior season, enter NFL Draft

Florida Gators junior safety Will Hill has decided to forgo his final season of NCAA eligibility and plans to declare for the 2011 NFL Draft, a source close to the team and a separate source close to the player confirmed to OGGOA on Wednesday.

Hill – a five-star recruit and PARADE All-American who was a consensus top-five high school football player in the country in 2007 – totaled 132 tackles, four interceptions, a forced fumble and a sack in three seasons at Florida.

He was chosen to the SEC All-Freshmen Team in 2008 after leading the Gators with 22 special team tackles including three in the 2009 BCS National Championship. Hill made five starts at safety in 2009 and once again led UF in special teams tackles (13).

As a junior in 2010, Hill caught two interceptions against Georgia including one in overtime that helped lead Florida to victory. (He also grabbed another on a two-point conversion attempt in the same contest.) He was suspended for the first two games of the season (disciplinary reasons) and sat out the beginning of the 2011 Outback Bowl.

OGGOA first reported following the bowl game that Hill left the field immediately after the final whistle and did not celebrate with his teammates or outgoing coaches. Most around the program did not expect him to remain with the team in 2011.

Projected to be a top junior NFL prospect before the season began, Hill was named to the 2010 Jim Thorpe Award preseason watch list but failed to live up to the expectations of both draft analysts and fans. ESPN grades Hill as a 68 in its “draftable defensive backs” projections, eight points below teammate and senior S Ahmad Black (76). His rating could improve significantly with a nice showing at the combine.

Fellow junior, cornerback Janoris Jenkins, is also expected to declare for the draft. The University of Florida will release statements when each player makes his intention to pursue a professional football career official.

UPDATE (1/10/11 at 5 p.m.): Since we first reported this story, Jenkins has decided to remain at UF and will not be entering the draft.

Photo Credit: Stephen Morton/Associated Press

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23 Responses to “Will Hill to forgo senior season, enter NFL Draft”

  1. TonyM1449 says:

    Extremely ill-advised decision. He stunk it up this year. I
    wish him the best thoug. I will say, his inconsistent play on the
    field this year will not be missed. He and Moses Jenkins did not
    impress me one bit. IMO, a bust after his freshman year. Good luck
    Will! You finally thrilled me, goodbye! Go Gators!!

  2. g8ter27 says:

    I agree, as a freshman he showed a ton of promise. This
    year especially he plain out sucked and apparently his attitude was
    terrbile. With a piss poor showing on the field this year and no
    leadership shown to the younger guys coupled with the discipline
    issues, it is a really bad time for Will to be leaving and trying
    the pros…but whatever, if he planned on bringing that crap back
    his senior year then see ya! And as a side note, last year Black
    thought about leaving, had he done so he would have almost
    certainly gone undrafted, this year he is rated above Hill and will
    almost certainly be drafted as he was our best defensive player
    hands down…..so great decision by Black! Will’s decision could
    likely cost him millions…and better hope there isn’t a lock out
    or pack your warm weather cloths Hill for Canada.

  3. Timmy T says:

    Terrible decision. Probably a 5 million dollar
    mistake.

  4. Will W says:

    Even though you had my favorite name on the team – you
    never lived up to it. Tons of talent but tons of attitude. I hope
    you kill it at the Combine because it’s tough to make a team as an
    undrafted free agent safety with ego issues.

  5. npgator says:

    I would loved to have had him one more year but I wish him
    the best and he will always be a Gator!

  6. ncgator says:

    Great decision! he’s been a pain in the ass since he came to Gainesville. He never lived up to expectations, was lazy and never put any effort into practice. That attitude and work ethic will go along way in guaranteeing a strong 6th or 7th round selection. Good riddance

  7. Aligator says:

    we will be okay!

  8. Mr2Bits says:

    For those following the UA game and commits, this is a great writeup from a Gator at the practice facility. Today could be a big game for our recruiting. [A portion of it has been posted below but you can copy-and-paste the following link to read the rest (there is a lot more) - http://forum.gatorsports.com/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=8312 ]

    [*] The one person that most people were excited to see play with all these star players around was Jeff Driskel. As much as we all wanted him to come in and shine that wasnt the case here. You just have to think at it in this kind of way he’s has to create chemistry with a whole bunch of new guys with some of the best Defensive recruits in the nation guarding them. Of course he’s going to throw interceptions. But none of the quarterbacks here have shined they are all in the same position as Driskel. He has progressed throughout the week and should be a lot better come game time tomorrow.

    Another Defensive back that has really impressed with me is Jabari Gorman. He is very quick to the ball and is very good at wrapping up and tackling. He is deciding where he wants to go during the UA game. In my opinion he should be all Gator [*]

    • Mr2Bits- Your previous comment has not yet been approved as it appears to be a copied-and-pasted selection from elsewhere. It is currently pending. Please post another comment with a link or citation so I can edit properly. Thank you! :)

  9. Gatorbuc15 says:

    Bad decision Will, bad decision.

  10. He has two children to take care of and has a whole new coaching staff coming in. He’s athletic and talented even if his career has been underwhelming. Just some perspective.

  11. Gatorbuc15 says:

    You do make some good points there Adam. I guess I would of just liked for him to come back for one more season. But if he wants to leave thats his choice. Like you said he has two kids to take care of.

  12. Geoff says:

    He wasnt a team player. Constantly failing drug tests [allegedly*] and underperforming on the field. I feel like he was giving half effort this whole season. Its not shocking that he is leaving early, but just shows poor character once again. When he came in to the program I thought he was going to be one of the best S’s to ever suit up. He had flashes of brilliance, but thats all they were. He was not a dedicated worker and it showed. Urban himself would probably agree and I am sure he wont be giving him a wonderful recommendation. Kids or no kids, it would have befitted him to come back and prove himself next year under the new regime. Having said all that, watch the pats draft him in the 6th round.

    [*OGGOA edit]

  13. ncgator says:

    Who cares if he has two kids!! How does he take care of
    them anyway? You’d have thought a guy in his position would have
    busted his ass to become a star and guarantee himself a high draft
    slot, much like Ahamd Black. This guy has real character issues and
    I’m glad he’s gone.

  14. John S says:

    I know it was expected, but I held out some hope he might stay to improve his stock a little more especially after some if his mid season comments. I guess Major Wright has certainly outperformed expectations.

    Good luck Will.

  15. mARK01 says:

    Tough Crowd…..It’s his decision. He’s a gator. I wish the best for him.

  16. Ken says:

    Will Hill and Dee Finley were supposed to be the greatest tandem ever recruited. So much hype. Neither lived up to it. Finley didnt even qualify academically the first year. Hopefully Finley is more of a team player and will come on strong next year after his collar bone heals.

    • I wouldn’t say Finley hasn’t “lived up to it” when he was injured all season. He’s also switched from safety to linebacker. He’s too young to make any determination on yet.

  17. Drew 4 Orange & Blue says:

    Will Hill is physical specimen but lacks instincts…..Major Wright and Amad Black made such a good tandem and they kept trying to get Hill in last year but it proved difficult….this year Will Hill was caught out of position more times than I would care to count and if he makes an NFL roster he will have to do it on special teams

  18. Scooterp says:

    Alot of talent of talent with questionable charactor. Good
    luck, Will.

  19. Swampbabe says:

    Wish him luck, because he’s a Gator but really I think it’s good he take that attitude of his to the NFL. No room for grumblers or dissenters on this new Gator team. I mean how do you NOT stay on the field and celebrate with your team and one of the greatest coaches to ever coach the game after his last game??? Oh yeah, he can take DuBose with him.

  20. gville boy says:

    Will “out of position” Hill. Where are you when the ball’s deep? Wrong side of the field. Misread. At least he’s consistent. He misread this one too. Grow up and apply yourself so that your kids have someone to look up to and a role model they can respect. Half assing it wont get it in the league, and he’ll probably wish he had that degree in 2 years.

  21. Wingtee says:

    Will is a perfect fit for the jags defense. He is a poor
    mans Reggie Nelson

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