The Detroit News continues its countdown of the top 15 Blue Chip recruits for 2016 with Lavert Hill of Detroit King at No. 3.
Detroit – Lavert Hill earned a reputation as an elite shut-down cornerback, but proved to be much more than that during his senior year at Detroit King.
Hill also was a big-play receiver, helping King win PSL and state championships with a 14-0 record.
“He gave us the other athlete on the opposite side of Donnie Corley,” said King coach Dale Harvel of Hill, who transferred in from Detroit Cass Tech his senior year. “He was underrated on offense because everybody looked at him as a great defender. He’s an intelligent kid where he made a catch on that (winning) drive in the state championship game, got out of bounds to stop the clock to give us a chance. He’s not only intelligent, but the fastest guy on our team.”
Hill is 5-foot-10, 180 pounds with sub-4.4 speed. He had 33 receptions for 786 yards and nine TD while getting in on 40 tackles and intercepting 12 passes, including three pick-sixes.
Hill had TD receptions of 12 and 2 yards in the Division 2 state title game win over Lowell at Ford Field, also grabbing a 22-yard pass from Armani Posey on the first play of a winning drive that started from the 3 during the final minute of the 40-38 comeback win.
“I’ve played offense all my life, just known more for my defense,” noted Hill, the U.S. Army’s National Defensive Player of the Year. “I just wanted to be a playmaker regardless of where I played, just wanted to make plays so we could win games, win a state championship. I just felt like that was my job.”
As for that 22-yard pass to start the 97-yard winning drive in the title game, which ended with Posey’s 39-yard TD pass to Corley on the final play, Hill said: “When I caught it I was just trying to get some extra yards, then had a charley horse, so I got out of bounds. It started a great drive, one we’ll always remember.”
Hill had many other great games, great catches on both sides of the ball, leading to victories.
In the PSL championship game at Ford Field, Hill made the play of the game, grabbing a short pass from Posey and turning it into an 85-yard TD reception in a 27-25 win over Cass Tech.
“That was one of the best plays in the passing game we made all year,” Harvel said. “We had the ball on the far hash, Cass Tech was in a zone and Lavert ran a crossing route, caught the ball and kept running, outran their safety, (Demetric) Vance.
“He’s obviously a great shut-down corner, but he’d be valued on anyone’s passing game at the next level, has great speed, great hands and knows how to run routes.”
In a 26-12 regional championship win over Detroit East English, Hill had an interception return for a touchdown to break a scoreless tie in the first half.
Hill originally committed to Penn State, then decommitted to reopen his recruiting process. He will announce his decision between Michigan, Michigan State and Penn State on Wednesday, National Signing Day.
“Lavert’s one of those guys who could play anywhere on the field and be good at it,” said Hill’s teammate, Donnie Corley, who has already enrolled at MSU. "Sure, I'm trying to get him to come here (MSU). That would be great."
DETROIT NEWS BLUE CHIP COUNTDOWN
No. 3 Lavert Hill, Detroit King (undecided)
No. 4 Daelin Hayes, Ann Arbor Skyline (Notre Dame)
No. 5 Michael Onwenu, Detroit Cass Tech (Michigan)
No. 6 Desmond Fitzpatrick, Waterford Mott (undecided)
No. 7 Demetric Vance, Detroit Cass Tech (Michigan State)
No. 8 Michael Jordan, Plymouth (Ohio State)
No. 9 Cedrick Lattimore, Detroit East English (Iowa)
No. 10 Trishton Jackson, West Bloomfield (Michigan State)
No. 11 David Reese, Farmington (Florida)
No. 12 Brandon Randle, Battle Creek Central (Michigan State)
No. 13 Josh Jackson, Saline (Virginia Tech)
No. 14 Martell Pettaway, Detroit King (West Virginia)
No. 15 Brad Tanner, Romeo (Western Michigan)