On Wednesday afternoon, Alabama secured a commitment from four-star outside linebacker Justin Hill, beating out Ohio State, Oregon, and USC. Hill, ranked 86th in the 2025 ESPN 300, chose Alabama during a ceremony at Cincinnati’s Winton Woods High School. The 6-foot-3 defender is the No. 4 prospect in Ohio and the 10th-ranked outside linebacker in the 2025 class according to ESPN.

With Hill’s commitment, the Crimson Tide have added 12 commitments since June 1. Coach Kalen DeBoer’s inaugural recruiting class in Tuscaloosa now boasts 15 ESPN 300 commits, including seven top-100 prospects. Hill is the second highest-rated defender in this cycle for Alabama, behind linebacker Darrell Johnson (No. 34 overall). The defensive class also includes outside linebackers Dawson Merritt (No. 15 OLB) and Jaedon Harmon (No. 19), cornerback Chuck McDonald III (No. 14 CB), inside linebacker Abduall Sanders Jr. (No. 2 ILB), and defensive tackle Antonio Coleman (No. 16 DT).


Initially offered by Alabama under Nick Saban in June 2023, Hill had an impressive junior season with 13 sacks and 36 total tackles, following a sophomore season with 42 tackles and 5.5 sacks. His recruitment included unofficial visits to Miami and Alabama, and official visits to Ohio State, USC, Alabama, and Oregon.

Known for his long wingspan and track speed, Hill excels in multiple positions on the Winton Woods defense. His pass-rush ability and versatility make him comfortable at both outside and inside linebacker spots. At Alabama, he is expected to play a key role for defensive coordinator Kane Wommack starting in 2025.

Following Hill’s commitment, Alabama lost two 2025 commitments. Athlete Zymear Smith, the 138th-ranked prospect in the ESPN 300 and the No. 10 athlete in the 2025 class, decommitted. Smith had been committed since early March and was the 10th-ranked prospect in Alabama’s incoming class. Additionally, in-state inside linebacker Myles Johnson, who committed in October 2023, also pulled his commitment shortly after Smith’s announcement.