When the recruiting process was getting started for Class of 2021 Montour athlete Jaiden Hill, one of the schools he knew he wanted to hear from was the Liberty Flames.
Liberty, an independent school in Virginia, is a relative newcomer to the FBS, but has new facilities, plays a challenging schedule, and has a head coach with Power Five experience in former Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze.
For the 6-foot-1, 175 pound Hill, it seemed like a perfect place for him to compete.
Apparently, the feeling was mutual. Liberty was the first school to extend a Division I scholarship offer to Hill back in March, and on Sunday, he announced his commitment to the school.
— ² (@HillJaiden) June 21, 2020
“They were actually a big target for me, before they even came into my school,” Hill told Pittsburgh Sports Now. “Then they randomly came in, and I was like, ‘Oh, my goodness. This is crazy. I love you guys.’ Ever since then, I guess they just took and run with it. They hit me up like two days later and then a week later, they offered me my first scholarship.
“They just got all this money and so their facilities are crazy. They just built brand-new facilities. They play pretty much top schools like Virginia Tech and North Carolina. All those top competitors. That was definitely a big factor for me. They’re an FBS school. It’s pretty much my biggest offer.”
Hill was recruited by Flames cornerbacks coach Rickey Hunley, and he’ll be paying cornerback when he suits up for Liberty in 2021. Hill also had scholarship offers from Duquesne and Robert Morris, but sees an opportunity to compete for a job at a higher level at Liberty.
“I just want to come in and compete,” he said. “I think at Liberty, I can really compete for a starting job and really make an impact.”
Hill knew that he wanted to make his college decision before the start of his senior year with the Spartans. When he surveyed the stock of one of his top personal choices also being his highest-level offer, it didn’t make sense to keep waiting.
“I really just didn’t want to have to worry about it throughout my season and throughout my school year,” Hill said. “Because I felt like I didn’t need that pressure in my life. I felt like it was an obvious decision for me anyway, since it was my best offer and I was already pretty much interested.”