Justin Hilliard Still Looking to Contribute in Final Season at Ohio State After Rupturing Achilles This Spring

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Major H's picture

What a lousy break for such a nice young man.

I'd rather be an hour early than a minute late.

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Browns88's picture

Had high expectations for Justin.  But that string of injury bugs has hampered his progression and talent on the field.  Heal and stay healthy.    Also Happy Fathers Day to all you Fathers out there

Browns88

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Knarcisi's picture

I feel bad for this kid. But, great attitude. And I heard on the WWE story that he was a marketing major. So he’s taking advantage of his school and career opportunities already. Maybe the NCAA will do the right thing and grant him a 6th year if he wants it. 

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mtrotb's picture

It is not so much him wanting a possible 6th year as much as the coaches willing to sacrifice a 4 or 5* in this recruiting class to save the scholarship for him knowing the is above a 50% chance he would be hurt again and not able to contribute.  Congrats to Hilliard for graduating and doing nice internships to get ready to move on.

mtrotb

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Knarcisi's picture

The reality of it is that we’d probably move him on. And we will never really know how that conversation would go. But I’d be disappointed if I knew that we moved him on and he wanted to play another year. I know it’s a scholarship but there is also an overriding culture that prevails in our program.  And there will be plenty of kids that will have been here 3 years and haven’t clicked. Move one of them on.  And it’s not like our LBs have been lights out. Speaking of, I hope this new coaching stately opens things up for Browning. I think it’s a make or break year for him.  So much talent. 

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Dan Hope's picture

While it is possible he could apply for and receive a sixth year of eligibility if he ends up being unable to play at all this year, that's never guaranteed. I didn't ask him whether that's something he has looked into at all – in hindsight, I realized while writing this story that I probably should have – but obviously his mindset right now is to try to play as much as he can this year. I don't think it would be smart for either he or the team to count on him getting a sixth year of eligibility, though, and he might be ready to move on after this season regardless, especially considering he's already graduated.

BuckInNashville's picture

Knar

there seem to be a certain subset of followers on this site that motivate me to comment (when I’m not providing solutions to the head coach from my vast coaching acumen - one year as an 8th grade head coach !)

you gave  a realistic take that makes me reflect on players that seem like can’t miss recruits who just can’t seem to break out at OSU. I think back on Dontre Wilson, Hilliard, Jamel Dean, and Mike Mitchell. I can’t really remember guys like this in the Tressel era, and that could very well be that Urban brought in so many more 5 stars and high 4 stars - that there are just so many minutes to spread around.   My gosh , at WR we had two guys drafted and another who signed as a FA, and we still have Mack, Victor and K.J. Hill.   Not to mention Garret Wilson. So I guess it’s a product of being loaded every year. I wish them the best and admire their dedication to the OSU brotherhood.

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Knarcisi's picture

Tress had plenty of 5 stars that missed, too. Robert Rose, Eugene Clifford, Jamario ONeal. 

Yes, there are more here now, so may seem like more misses.  Hilliard was more so from injury. But the challenge here is there is the same as you mention.  There’s so much talent here, one injury might do you in. All of a sudden, you’re fighting your way back up the depth chart. 

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TraptnMI's picture

 I just think you have to be committed to him like he’s been committed to us. This breaks my heart. What a tough young man physically and mentally.

" It's real good whatcha done Anthony, real good ! "

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brutus0717's picture

Mike D'Andrea is another

"We gotta go win this next game and make the State of Ohio proud!"-UFM

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moopdawg's picture

Dude is a badass.  Go Justin!!! Every game that I've watched you play in, you make plays!  

Good team guy with a bright future.  Resilient.  

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buckzilla1's picture

Medical redshirt, graduate and move on to a school that he can have an impact would not be a bad road to travel down. Once a Buckeye always a Buckeye and this guy would be able to extend a career and education to help him make a choice to work for a shot at the pro's or get on with life with a masters degree. 

Jim Harbaugh is to coaching what Lou Glutz is to Motor sales. 

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O-H-I-Owe-U's picture

I have so much respect for Justin. He wasn't given enough opportunities on the field last year, and now this achilles thing. Resiliency is absolutely needed in today's working world, so you are proving to future employers that you never quit. 

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TraptnMI's picture

So well put.

" It's real good whatcha done Anthony, real good ! "

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buckme's picture

I would love to see him get healthy and make an impact in his last go around. 

Head north till you smell it, west until you step in it

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Dillon G's picture

I guess I’m selfish. My team needed great talent at linebacker the last 2 years, and missed out. And so did he.

#walkaway

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tekk69's picture

I always wonder what Fickell (or any competent LB coach) would've been doing with these LB the last 2-3 years.  Here's to you BD!  Arguably the worst hire of Urban's tenure at OSU.

Let's hope AW rights the ship and we see the return of the Silver Bullets this year! 

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Iwannagobacktoohiostate's picture

I tore my Achilles 9 years ago. I can run straight ahead but jumping and rapid changes of direction on unstable ground is a pain. Atrophy has made my left calf 30% smaller than my right.  

Concur with the feeling. I literally thought someone dropped a shot put between my calf and heel.  Looked around for the culprit with no one within 5 yards of me.

Good luck young man. I’m cheering for you this season and beyond 

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TURD_BUCKET's picture

It takes a lot of character to keep moving forward after being down/injured so many times.  His future is bright regardless if it includes football or not.  Best of luck to him.

“Being average means you are as close to the bottom as you are to the top.” John Wooden

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buckbornbred's picture

I can see why they wouldn't pursue a medical redshirt, and why he wouldn't be interested in one. But it's hard not to root for this kid who overcame two years' worth of injuries to be one of our best special teams players.

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Evannati's picture

He was such a stud in high school.  

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stpetebuck's picture

Living in Florida means lots of house guests. My current house guest thought he had an empty seat next to him for his flight down. Then a big dude with #47 on his bag squished in the middle seat.  Probably for the wwe camp. We’ve been talking about mr Hilliard all weekend. Good luck young man. 

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Hovenaut's picture

I admire his positivity, especially with all he has faced.

Wishing Justin Hillard well.

Got M...igan gossip? Bang it here.

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TheVictoryBell's picture

He’s always looked explosive when he’s on the field, whether it’s on special teams or in mop up duty. Hopefully he can get back on the field this season and make an impact as a Senior. 

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Buckeye_bob's picture

Wish the kid well, but he has struggled to read offenses since he has been here. He had several chances to crack the starting lineup and stay there but he just gives up too many big plays.

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BUCKAROOTIMESTWO's picture

And yet, there were also others who gave up big plays, and they still consistently played last year.  

Someone else said it above, it’s as if he never got enough consistent PT to see if he could contribute, and now the injury bug hits again.

I wish J Hilliard well moving forward.

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Buckeye_bob's picture

He was noticablt LOST many times on the field! Once last year Meyer had to call a TO because he was just standing looking like he was lost. Great kid and athlete but his lack of a mental game was horrid!

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Brandon26841's picture

That said, Hilliard has an example right in front of him that gives him reason for optimism that he will be able to get back on the field this year; Borland made it back onto the field in time for last year’s season opener, less than six months after rupturing his Achilles last March.

So Borland DID rupture his Achilles last spring? I know it was an Achilles injury, but they never actually said if it was a total rupture or not. If it was, it's pretty insane that even saw the field at all in 2018. Look at Durant for example... he's pretty much guaranteed to be out for all of next season. I'm assuming not all Achilles tears are the same (like other tendon / ligament injuries) but it's no wonder Tuf just didn't have much speed last season.   

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Dstacify's picture

I'm hoping Borland coming back so quickly from his Achilles tear last year was the reason why he was so incredibly slow and lead-footed at times (there's virtually no chance he was 100% healthy in his first game back in week 2 last year). Really think rushing him back onto the field wasn't the smartest move by Meyer and his staff at the time. I get Borland is a captain and viewed as the leader of the defense but coming back from an Achilles is no joke. From what I've heard Hilliard is expected to miss at least half the season due to this injury so it would be interesting to know how Borland was able to come back so quickly last year when his injury happened around the same time in the off-season as Hilliard's did this year.

11 Strong.

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CreekBuck's picture

Dammit, I really liked this dude.  Stay tough man and get back. All the best.

You win with people.

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Dstacify's picture

I really feel for this kid. Highly touted player coming out of HS and he's just had the worst luck with injuries since he's been here. I was hoping to see him get a chance at starting this year as he has incredible upside and both Borland and Werner are liabilities on the field (though maybe Al Washington's coaching changes that, who knows).

11 Strong.

HS