Longhorns Land State's Biggest Prize
Geoff Ketchum

tony hills jr.In the crazy world of recruiting, it's amazing how word of a star players commitment can travel from one coast to another in the span of seconds.

In a business where everyone's business is made public, rarely does big news stay bottled up for more than 24 hours.

So, when the Lone Star State's top prospect commits on a Wednesday and word of his commitment doesn't break until Sunday afternoon, you can't help but wonder if cats aren't chasing dogs in the street somewhere.

Yes, that's right - Alief (Texas) Elsik tight end Tony Hills Jr. is a Texas Longhorn and it only took nearly 100 hours for the word to finally get out.

"I don't know how it stayed quiet," Hills said with a laugh. "I've been trying to get a hold of my coach to let him know to let everyone else know."

 To Texas coaches and fans, the only thing that matters is that the Longhorns have landed their big fish of the recruiting season. Since February, Hills has long been thought to be the team's most important recruit.

"The coaches were excited and relieved when I told them," Hills said. "They are great coaches to play for."

According to Hills, his visit to Austin last weekend was all he needed to see to know where he wanted to spend the next four to five years.

"I just like the atmosphere down there between the coaches and players," Hills said. "Ultimately, that's what I based my decision on. I just really liked the atmosphere."

Still, Hills admitted that he's been leaning towards attending school on the 40 Acres for some time.

"I'm pretty much known for a while that I wanted to go there," Hills admitted.

Hills, who is regarded as the nation's top tight end prospect and is rated as the nation's No. 6 overall player in the country, is the first five-star recruit to commit to the Longhorns this year.

At 6-6, 260 pounds, Hills is a dominating blocker and has the type of athleticism to be a potent downfield receiver.

During his senior season at Elsik, Hills recorded nearly 100 pancake blocks and posted 15 receptions for 275 yards.

For much of the recruiting period this year, it's been thought that Hills and fellow Alief-area product Alonzo Dotson would attend the same school together. However, Hills admitted that while he would love to play his college ball with Dotson, it's not a lock that it will happen.

"I haven't talked with Alonzo since I committed," Hills said. "I'm not sure what he's going to do. I guess he wants to base his decision on where he can play the fastest. He's going to do what he feels is best for him."

Hills' commitment gives the Longhorns 17 so far for this year's recruiting class, with the magic number of total recruits taken his year expected to be between 20-22.