Hill, a former four-star recruit according to Rivals, verbally committed to South Carolina in March 2012 after stops at four college programs and was expected to challenge for a starting spot right away along the defensive front. He changed his mind about the Gamecocks after a trip to UNCP on Jan. 2.
The 6-foot-5, 285-pound standout was one of the jewels of Alabama’s third-ranked 2010 signing class and participated in workouts with the Crimson Tide until he was deemed academically ineligible by the NCAA before fall camp of that year. As a non-qualifier, Hill enrolled at East Carolina University before withdrawing and attending a junior college in Mississippi.
Hill comes to Pembroke from Los Angeles Valley Community College in California — his fourth school — where he was a starter on defense. He split time at linebacker and defensive end the first two months of the season before a knee injury ended his sophomore campaign. While playing under veteran coach Jimmy Fletcher at West Brunswick High School, Hill was rated in the Rivals Top 100 as a senior and played in the Under Armour All-America Game. He ultimately chose the Crimson Tide over North Carolina and several others.
The college signing period for mid-year JUCO transfers began on Dec. 19 and ends Tuesday.
Sylvester Crawford, a redshirt junior from Charlotte, was granted a release from N.C. State’s new coaching staff and is already attending classes at UNCP. The 6-foot-4, 225-pound defensive end was an all-area and Prep Star’s All-Atlantic Region performer at Northside Christian Academy before signing with the Wolfpack in 2009.
Crawford appeared in 13 games at N.C. State and had five career tackles.
Hill has three years to play two in Pembroke. Crawford has two years of eligibility remaining. Per NCAA transfer rules, both players can play immediately for the Braves. UNCP will reveal its 2013 signing class including transfers on Feb. 6.