Credit: Daniel Dreifuss

More than a year after making a verbal pledge to attend the University of Wisconsin, Santa Barbara High quarterback Deacon Hill put pen to paper Wednesday, finalizing his commitment and officially becoming a member of the Badgers’ 2021 recruiting class.  

The signing day ceremony was held at Santa Barbara High’s newly renovated Peabody Stadium and was limited to immediate family, coaches, and media. 

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“It’s been a long time coming. I’ve been committed for over a year and a half now. A lot of schools tried to come in, but Wisconsin has my heart,” Hill said. “Madison (Wisconsin), that’s the place I need to be. It’s exhilarating, I was nervous walking down the hill, but it’s a great feeling knowing that I’m going to get to play at the next level and the next four years are set for my life.”

Hill’s recruitment has been well documented as the 6’4” 225 pound quarterback emerged as a coveted prospect ahead of his junior season and more than lived up to the hype by passing for  3,102 passing yards and 33 touchdowns, while leading the Dons to the CIF-SS Division 8 championship game and the programs first playoff victory in 30 years. 

With the possibility of a senior season very much in doubt at this point after the recent release of the state of California’s youth sports guidelines, Hill is preparing for the next chapter in his journey where he will take his talents to Big Ten country and cement his legacy.

“Power five conference, Big Ten, you have Ohio State, Wisconsin, Iowa, Nebraska a lot of big name schools so it’s big boy football,” Hill said. “I’m really excited to be a part of that.”

Hill has been working individually with Santa Barbara High head football coach J.T. Stone since he was in the fourth grade and their relationship has flourished over the years. 

“It’s not about the athleticism; he is a quality person that you truly want to be successful. You want this type of kid to come back to our community and be a leader,” Stone said. “As a coach I’m so proud of him beyond football. He has been an amazing ambassador for this football program and for this school.”

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