Hill signs with Ohio State as high school coach noticeably absent

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Photo by Gavin Lesnick North Little Rock’s K.J. Hill signed with Ohio State Wednesday.

North Little Rock standout receiver K.J. Hill signed with Ohio State University Wednesday without his high school coach, Brad Bolding, present. Rumors have swirled about Bolding’s job status for weeks, and his absence at the school’s signing day event was telling.
While North Little Rock School officials are mum on Bolding’s stratus, Hill and his stepfather Montez Peterson made it clear any alleged wrongdoing by Bolding didn’t include the recruitment of Hill contrary to rumors that have circulated on social media.
“They swear [Bolding] gave me money, but I didn’t get any money,” Hill told a throng of reporters shortly after he inked with the defending national champion Buckeyes. “That’s what they say. “People say he gave me money … I don’t know what the real situation is,” Hill says. “It’s all good, though.
“I’m not worried. People swore I couldn’t sign, but it is all good.”
North Little Rock’s silence and Hill’s decommitment from Arkansas last month has only fueled speculation that Hill’s recruitment is tied to Bolding’s troubles.
“Everything that we have done as parents and K.J. has done have been on the up and up,” Peterson says. “He hasn’t done anything, period. All of the [Bolding] stuff has nothing to do with K.J. If it had, I am pretty sure the school would have let somebody know.
“My whole thing is, this is [Bolding’s] personal business, and I just want to thank him for what he has done for my son and keeping him at a Division I level.”
Peterson and Hill both said Bret Bielema recruited Hill up until the the 9 a.m. Wednesday signing event, even after Hill chose not to go on an official visit to Arkansas last weekend.
Both Hill and Peterson seemed glad to have the process complete even in Bolding’s absence.
“The only pressure that has been on our family is that we wanted to make sure our kid did what he wanted to do,” Peterson says. “A lot of pressure came from fans and everything. We understand that, but at the same time I don’t like the fact that there are some things out there that just aren’t true. As a fan told me, you have to expect that some people are going to go nuts on recruiting.”