Ohio State Overview: One can expect to hear the name Justin Hilliard a lot more on football Saturdays … this talented and rock solid linebacker on and off the field is coming off a fine 2018 spring drills and he enters fall camp this August vying for playing time at one linebacker position … a fourth-year junior, Hilliard earned his first Varsity O letter in 2017 by playing in all 14 games for the Big Ten champion Buckeyes … contributed 14 tackles on the season … this after he missed much of two seasons with separate biceps injuries with the second coming during the 2016 season after Hilliard had played in each of the team’s first three games … he made four tackles in the first game he played in as a Buckeye, vs. Bowling Green … he is majoring in family resource management and has earned Academic All-Big Ten Conference and OSU Scholar-Athlete honors for his classroom work.
Notable Note: Hilliard spent a week in Quepos, Costa Rica, in May as part of a community service initiative to engage local youth in sports-related and life skills activities.
Honors and Awards
2017: Academic All-Big Ten Conference, OSU Scholar-Athlete
More on Justin: Hilliard was a 5-star recruit by both 247Sports and ESPN and one of the top linebacker prospects in his recruiting class … rated as the No. 1 outside linebacker by ESPN and No. 2 by 247Sports, and the No. 1 inside linebacker by Rivals … also held lofty overall rankings of No. 17 on the ESPN 300, No. 30 by 247Sports and No. 45 on the Rivals 250 … PrepSports ranked him No. 32 nationally and a member of its 150 Dream Team … Hilliard was a finalist as a senior for the Dick Butkus Award and he was an Associated Press all-state selection and its Division I defensive player of the year … helped lead coach Steve Specht’s St. Xavier team to a 10-3 record in 2014 and a state semifinals appearance after recording 71 tackles and five quarterback sacks … had 76 tackles, four sacks and seven passes defensed in 2013 … named a U.S. Army All-American but did not play as he was recovering from a knee injury … is the son of Diane and Carl Hilliard … older brother, C.J., is a running back for Ohio University.