By Ashley Denny.
PENDLETON, SC- TheClemsonInsider.com had a chance to catch up with Pendleton High School head football coach Paul Sutherland on Wednesday and spoke to him about prized recruit Michael Hill who has already received offers from Clemson and inner state rival South Carolina along with interest from Florida, Tennessee, and Auburn.
“Michael has been a pleasure to coach,” Sutherland said. “He’s reserved, so I’ve challenged him to take on a leadership role on the team this year as a senior, hard for him because he is only 16. On the field he has a high motor, always moving, and a very hard worker. In the class room he is just as focused. He made the honor roll this term, earns mostly A’s and B’s.”
This 6 foot 3, 315 pound defensive tackle has already taken visits to both Clemson and South Carolina for Junior Day and will be visiting Tennessee on March 3rd.
“He really liked both of his visits to Clemson and South Carolina,” Sutherland said. “He especially enjoyed being able to meet Coach Venables at Clemson.”
Last season, the Bulldogs finished off with a 7-3 record and were crowned Regional Champions, with a very young team. This year the team will have 21 seniors including Hill so Southerland hopes for another good season.
As far as Hill’s decision goes, Sutherland knows Hill would like to make his decision sometime during his senior season.
“The advice I’ve given him as he’s gone through the visiting process is to take football out of the equation when he’s visiting the school,” Sutherland said. “I also tell him to listen to his father because he goes with him to every visit and sees and hears what Michael does, knows what’s best for him.”
Sutherland has also given Hill advice as he completes his high school career.
“I tell him to remain focused day to day,” Sutherland said. “When he’s in his Spanish class I tell him to be focused on only Spanish, same with his other classes. And when he’s in the weight room or on the practice field, I tell him to block everything else out and focus only on what he’s doing.”