The Iowa Hawkeyes were pleased to announce the fifth verbal commitment to their 2014 recruiting class on Thursday, when running back C.J. Hilliard announced his intentions to play in Iowa City next year. Hilliard is the second commitment the Hawkeyes have received this week, joining cornerback Omar Truitt (Washington DC), who pledged his allegiance on Monday.
Hilliard, from St. Xavier High School in Cincinnati, is considered one of the top all-purpose backs in the country. The 5-foot 11, 185-pounder has such good hands out of the backfield, and enough speed in the open field to possibly see time at slot receiver if need be. As I so often preach, versatility is simply paramount in this game.
Hilliard chose the Hawkeyes because of the family atmosphere inside the program, even off the field. Over the course of several trips to Iowa City, Hilliard developed solid relationships with running backs coach Chris White and head coach Kirk Ferentz.
Something to keep in mind for you Hawkeye fans, Hilliard isn’t the only good football player in his family. Yep, he’s got a little brother named Justin, who just so happens to be one of the top prospects nationally for the class of 2015. While C.J. holds an impressive nine offers thus far, his little brother is already up to 20 (yes, the Hawkeyes are one of those 20).
No, the Hawkeyes weren’t offering C.J. strictly with the hopes of also getting his brother next year, because he really is an exciting tailback prospect. But it is an added bonus that they may have the inside track on arguably the best junior linebacker in the country.