published Friday, January 17th, 2014

Georgia all-stater Hill commits to Mocs

UTC football commitments

Kennington Cadwell (Columbia, Ga.) 6-6, 280 OL

C.J. Fritz (McCallie) 5-11, 170 DB

Melvin Hill (Washington County) 5-8, 175 RB

Tavon Lawson (Munford, Ala.) 6-1, 190, S

Bailey Lenoir (East Hamilton) 6-4, 245 TE

Isaiah Mack (Northwest Whitfield) 6-2, 260 DL

Montrell Pardue (Clarksville Northeast) 6-0, 185 LB/S

Branden Parker (Miller Grove, Ga.) 6-3, 250 OL

Cam Walker (McCallie) 6-4, 245 TE-OL

Tim Whatley (Columbus Carver) 6-0, 210 LB

A recruiting class that had been loading up on beef got a little sizzle Thursday when the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga landed its 10th commitment. Washington County (Ga.) all-state running back Melvin "The Thrill" Hill became the first offensive skill position commitment for the Mocs in this class and brings with him a dynamic skill set.

"He's tremendous in space and can absolutely fly when he gets a step," Washington County coach Joel Ingram said. "His ability fits the spread offense perfectly, and I think the only thing that kept the bigger schools from coming after him was his size.

"He's got that wiggle and then explosion about him, though, and will be hard to deal with. He's also a great student and just a natural leader. UTC got an absolute steal."

The 5-foot-8, 175-pound Hill helped Washington County reach the Class AAA state title game, averaging 10.5 yards per carry in gaining a team-high 1,700 yards and scoring 33 touchdowns. The Golden Hawks had two other players with more than 1,000 rushing yards and led the state in scoring (50 points per game).

Hill also returned three punts and two kickoffs for TDs, including a 99-yard return for a score in a semifinal win over Ringgold and an 85-yard return the next week at the Georgia Dome. A region champion in both the 100- and 200-meter dashes, Hill was timed consistently at 4.47 for 40 yards at one preseason summer camp.

"I love the offense I'll be in and I'm really excited to be on a team that's on the way up," said Hill, who was one of 11 players making official visits to UTC last weekend. "I loved the coaches and other players I was around last week, and the campus was cool, too.

"I think the class they're putting together is going to do a lot of big things in Chattanooga, and I'm glad to be a part of it."

Contact Stephen Hargis at or 423-757-6293.

about Stephen Hargis...

Stephen has covered local sports in the tri-state area for more than 24 years, having been with the Times Free Press since its inception, and has been an assistant sports editor since 2005. Stephen is among the most decorated writers in the TFP’s newsroom, winning numerous state, regional and national writing awards, including seven in 2013 and a combined 12 in the last two years. He was named one of the top 10 sports writers ...

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