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Stellar, Standard & Subpar: Daxton Hill In 2020

The former five-star safety has a chance to be Michigan's biggest breakout star from the 2019 class in 2020.

We continue our series as we look at each potential contributor on Michigan's roster in numerical order and look at what would be a stellar, standard and subpar season in 2020.

We're on to No. 30, sophomore safety Daxton Hill.

As a true freshman in 2019, Hill appeared in all 13 games with three starts. He began the year mainly as a special teams contributor but gradually worked his way into the rotation and ended the year starting against Alabama. Hill always seems to be around the ball and has a knack for making the big play. He was a five-star prospect and the No. 1 safety in the country coming out of high school and with good reason. He's arguably the fastest player on the roster and has great instincts and length. He's exactly what you look for in a cover man or a deep safety. In pretty limited action as a rookie, he had 36 total tackles, including 3.0 for loss, two fumble recoveries, four pass breakups, and one interception.

He's never going to come off the field in 2020, so exactly how good can he be?

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Full-season expectations obviously need to be shifted a bit since Michigan is only playing a nine-game schedule, but Hill should still stuff the stat sheet. He's going to be involved in the run game and pass game, which should allow him to make a lot of plays. Last year was Josh Metellus' best as a Wolverine and he had 74 stops including four for loss, two interceptions, five pass breakups and a fumble recovery. The year before that, he had three picks, one of which he returned for a touchdown. Hill is a much more dynamic athlete and should be in some of the same positions that Metellus was over the course of his career. Even though U-M only has nine games on its schedule right now, Hill should rack up 65+ tackles, a handful for loss, at least three interceptions and maybe a defensive touchdown. He's got everything it takes to be one of the best safeties in the Big Ten and perhaps the country.


Because Hill is going to play a ton and is so talented, I think a standard season still needs to be very, very good. Making more than 50 tackles and creating two or three turnovers needs to be the floor for him. He's going to be on the field for every defensive snap so the opportunities will be there. If he plays like he did last year in limited action, he'll have a very productive season even if it's not in the "special" category.


The only thing that could result in a subpar season for Hill would be an injury that keeps him off the field. If he's healthy and playing, he's going to be good. There's no doubt about it.

My Thoughts

I think Hill is destined for stardom. He managed to get in and make plays almost immediately last year and showed why he was so coveted coming out of high school. As the day-one starter who never comes of the field, he might just end up being one of the best players on defense. I definitely think he'll stuff the stat sheet with at least 60 tackles and at least three takeaways. It wouldn't surprise me to see him get into the end zone either. He's too good, too fast and to instinctive to not make at least one "wow" play for the Wolverines this year.

Previous Players

No. 1 — Ambry Thomas
No. 2 — Carlo Kemp
No. 2 — Jake Moody
No. 3 — Quinn Nordin
No. 4 — Nico Collins
No. 5 — Joe Milton
No. 6 — DJ Turner
No. 6 — Cornelius Johnson
No. 8 — Ronnie Bell
No. 10 — Dylan McCaffrey
No. 12 — Josh Ross
No. 12 — Chris Evans
No. 15 — Chris Hinton
No. 15 — Giles Jackson
No. 17 — Sammy Faustin
No. 18 — Luiji Vilain
No. 19 — Kwity Paye
No. 19 — Mike Sainristil
No. 20 — Brad Hawkins
No. 22 — Gemon Green
No. 23 — Michael Barrett
No. 24 — Zach Charbonnet
No. 25 — Hassan Haskins