Cincinnati St. Xavier Star Justin Hilliard Breaks Down Top Five

By Jeremy Birmingham on May 23, 2014 at 12:00p
45 Comments

Justin Hilliard, one of the state's top prospects, named his top five schools tonight and Ohio State made his latest cut. The nation's top outside linebacker according to 247Sports.com, Hilliard is a consensus five-star recruit. While there's few players worthy of the "must get" label so leisurely tossed around, the 6-foot-2, 230 pound bruiser could certainly be considered as such.

Alabama, Notre Dame, Iowa and Michigan join the Buckeyes on Hilliard's list and the Cincinnati St. Xavier star broke down his top five schools for Eleven Warriors. 

Alabama

"Alabama is a great school, they've been dominant the last five-plus years. It seems that everyone that gets drafted is from there. The coaching staff is also very impressive, it's no wonder they have many of the nation's highest-paid assistants. 

OHIO STATE

"With Ohio State, I have a great relationship with their coaches; Coach (Urban) Meyer, Coach (Luke) Fickell and Coach (Kerry) Coombs. They have so much energy around the program. Also, I am from OHIO."

NOTRE DAME

"Notre Dame is a catholic school, which is similar to where I am at now. They also have a very experienced linebacker coach that sends a lot of guys to the NFL. Plus, you can do a lot with a Notre Dame degree."

IOWA

"Iowa just sent all three of their linebackers to the NFL last year, and Coach (Jim) Reid won linebacker coach of the year. Of course, my brother is going there and that makes a difference."

MICHIGAN

"I've been up to Michigan so many times. I feel comfortable with the players up there and the coaches too. They have a great game day atmosphere and Coach (Greg) Mattison is a football genius."

45 Comments

Comments

route4buckeye's picture

Moved his decision date before his season starts. Hmmmm ;)

+1 HS
bedheadjc's picture

Forget all the amazingly athletic plays and sacks. All I needed to know about him was revealed in the play where he pancaked the OT while in backside pursuit. DAMN. Raekwon in the middle and Hilliard outside? Would be unbelievable.

He's already what Mike Mitchell would have needed a couple of years to become.

+5 HS
Calgarybuck's picture

I'm at work..what time does the pancake go down

livinthedream's picture

Watch his HUDL video.  This kid is a beast.  Can NOT let him get away!

fear_the_nut70's picture

I have been to the Outhouse twice.  I was NOT impressed with the Gameday experience there, at least as it compares to other schools.  Much of the student section was empty for The Game last year.  Ramzy's article hit the nail on the head; once upon a time, the experience there was apparently great for the students.  It has become more corporate.  Because of that and recent struggles, some fans have stayed away.  This young man should go to school where he feels most comfortable, but he's kiddng himself if he thinks the gameday experience in AA compares favorably with that of the Shoe.

+7 HS
BME_Buckeye's picture

Where in his quote did he compare the experience of both stadiums? All he said was the atmosphere of Michigan Stadium was great but nothing to put down Ohio State. Not sure how you extrapolated one being favorable to the other.  

Look closely, because the closer you think you are, the less you will actually see.

 

+3 HS
seafus26's picture

Agreed, made my first trip to the Outhouse this year. I was not impressed and large portions of student section weren't even occupied throughout first quarter of The Game. I guess it's hard to get excited when you know you're gonna lose. But even with our D letting scUM hang around and make an exciting game of it, the decibel and excitement level never reached that of any game at the 'Shoe( even a game vs Youngstown St)., let alone our night games.  I hate to admit it but from traveling the different storied college football venues throughout the country, if this kid wants to see game day atmosphere, go to a game at LSU. Of course, don't go to school or play ball there, stay home and be a Buckeye. However, eyes sound like they need to be opened if he thought there was even a resemblance of a game day atmosphere at scUM. 

Go Bucks and michigan STILL SUCKS!

BroJim's picture

Sheds blocks, finds the ball well, hits square, and wraps up. He has tons of potential and is an instinctive player. Indeed, Hilliard is a "must get"

I season my simple food with hunger

+2 HS
NuttyBuckeye's picture

Yes - he WRAPS UP the tackle... Apparently he did not go to the same school of tackling as Roby... Thank God...

Marc Pocock (a.k.a NuttyBuckeye)

What's round on the ends and high in the middle? Tell me if you know!

+2 HS
WhySoSerious's picture

Was a first rounder. Would love to see you go out there and tackle people. Little harsh nutty. 

Rare&Uncommon

Like the ball in the stands, we balls out

Rjpfish2's picture

Roby originally committed to Vandy to play WR. ESPiN described him as, "an all hands, no body" receiver. Not really apples-apples comparing the wrapping ability of a 5* LB and an off/def athlete...

+2 HS
NuttyBuckeye's picture

Watch old game tape of Roby.  The first time he uses his arms I would like to see.  In the scUM game in Columbus on Dennard's long run, if he wraps upd, it's a measley little 8-yard gain.

I am not saying Roby can't play corner - only that he tackles with T-Rex arms....

Marc Pocock (a.k.a NuttyBuckeye)

What's round on the ends and high in the middle? Tell me if you know!

+3 HS
WhySoSerious's picture

Ive seen plenty of film, so on average 1 out of 10 how many miss tackles would he have? 1 maybe 2? I wonder how many other DBS D. Robinson has made looked bad during his career.. 

Rare&Uncommon

Like the ball in the stands, we balls out

seafus26's picture

You want him to arm tackle? 

Go Bucks and michigan STILL SUCKS!

Jeremy Birmingham's picture

My opinion - and it's solely my opinion based on my gut here - is that Hilliard's decision is going to come down to Ohio State and Alabama.

mh277907's picture

Hopefully he "rolls with Ohio State"

buckeyebobcat

+8 HS
teddyballgame's picture

The thought of losing a 5 star linebacker in our own backyard to BAMA is a nightmare... no wonder they're working so hard on him.

+1 HS
luckynutz's picture

Look at who they are touting as Bamas next big thing at linebacker this year: trey depriest. From Springfield, oh. It happens some times. Not saying it will happen this time. Just really depends on how much proximity to home means to him.

+1 HS
BuckeyeStrong2's picture

Edit: was going to mention Trey DePriest, but I hit reply without seeing I was beat to it.

northcampus's picture

I think it's OSU or Michigan.  I just think he'd be most comfortable at these two due to his relationships with the coaches.  The 'catholic' pull of ND won't come into play with JH.  OSU has done a great job of recruiting him (Coombs especially).

AZBuckeyePhan's picture

I agree with Birm, Nobody is talking abt HIlliard and Bama and Im not sure why. They are 100% in the thick of things for his services

cinserious's picture

it's no wonder they have many of the nation's highest-paid players assistants.

Life's daily struggle is choosing between saying F--ck-it, or soldiering on with your responsibilities.  

+6 HS
Buckeyevstheworld's picture

Coach (Greg) Mattison is a football genius."

Not when he has coached against Ohio State the last 3 years.

"YOLO" = I'm about to do something extremely ignorant/stupid & I need an excuse to do it.

+4 HS
seafus26's picture

Or when Ray Lewis and company wanted him run outta Baltimore.

Go Bucks and michigan STILL SUCKS!

holtzy's picture

Impressive highlights.  Sounds like a kid that has his act together as well.

jamesrbrown322's picture

What he said is interesting. Is he just downplaying his interest in OSU? Because these short little snippets make it sound like he's higher on Iowa and Bama.

"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." - Winston Churchill

+1 HS
Ahh Saturday's picture

He might not have said much about OSU, but if a highly touted recruit only has a few words to say about your school, "I have a great relationship with the coaches" is probably what you'd want to hear.

+8 HS
allinosu's picture

His family is big into academics so I'm ruling out Alabama. When ask about each individual school ND had more punch in his statement emphasizing academics, facility and closeness to coaching staff. OSU got closeness to coaching staff. I think this is a hard pull from ND but it's a coin toss. 

+2 HS
Ahh Saturday's picture

I'm just reading the tea leaves snippet from Birm's article, so I'm not sure if you're responding to other remarks JH has made, but in his remarks above I thought his ND remarks were the most tepid.  The school is "similar" to his high school.  The linebacker coach is "experienced" but nothing about Kelly, and you can do " a lot" with a ND degree.  He's not saying bad things about ND, but I find no trace of enthusiasm in any of those comments.

cinserious's picture

Maybe (hopefully) Hilliard already foresees the asshole Brian Kelly is and will be.

As for a degree, there is an entire legion of OSU alumni  (football and non-football) who can attest to what an Ohio State University degree can do for one's life. That is, a ND degree might be nice but we have Buckeye fans/alumni all over the country in positions of power. If ND is the Yin, we are the Yang!

Life's daily struggle is choosing between saying F--ck-it, or soldiering on with your responsibilities.  

allinosu's picture

It was an article by Miles Joseph. The other four schools he said he liked. ND he definitely liked. His words not mine. I got caught up in this responding to earlier remarks that ND wasn't much in the race. I feel that's not true from what I've read and the history of that region of Ohio and ND. That all said I'm in with US getting him. I think our coaches will earn their paycheck and bring him to OSU,

Poison nuts's picture

Just watched the video for the first time & wow. WOW! I mean, he's as good as it gets. His instincts off the charts...a genuinely complete linebacker.

"Do not pass me, just slow down - I can move right through you" Superchunk - Precision Auto.

+1 HS
WhySoSerious's picture

I'm releasing my top five later on today..

Rare&Uncommon

Like the ball in the stands, we balls out

+2 HS
wyatt's picture

Hilliard sure did his homework on the teams. Iowa sent all 3 LBs to the NFL?  St. X stadium is about the best high school stadium I've seen.

+1 HS
Eph97's picture

I'm sick of us losing top in state talent to Alabama (Depriest, Kief). It wouldn't bother me as much if we got a top 3 talent out of the state of Alabama.

gm3jones's picture

But we have not lost him yet. besides, we have 4 top 40 high schools that spawn the best recruits compared to Alabamas one. It is going to happen.

There is nothing more remarkable as learning to think better.

+1 HS
cinserious's picture

I bet That State Up North only has one top 40 HS as well, setting up Alabama pretty nicely for a tremendous fall from grace one of these days. If only Buckeye Nation can set it up for Saban to get an NFL gig  making him the highest paid coach in history while making him GM and giving him a controlling interest in the team. Just rid CFB from Saban and the rest will naturally fall into place.

Life's daily struggle is choosing between saying F--ck-it, or soldiering on with your responsibilities.  

Mortc15's picture

Personally, I'd just prefer it be OSU-Bama for the title this year. Meyer v Saban. On the field. No excuses, no "Meyer only won again bc Saban left" talk. 

Buck-I4Life

1MechEng's picture

I only count 3 Ohio schools ... Massilon, St. Ignatius, and Glenville.

Buckeyevstheworld's picture

Didn't lose Washington, Booker, Lattimore, Smith, etc.

"YOLO" = I'm about to do something extremely ignorant/stupid & I need an excuse to do it.

+4 HS
BuckNutzGasMan's picture

Wake me up when he declares his top 1.  Unless its someone besides us.

SilverState's picture