What was the reaction from Tyrone (Ga.) Sandy Creek class of 2012 athlete Mike Hilton when Cincinnati became the first program to extend an offer earlier this week?
"I was very surprised," Hilton said. "I was happy and excited, because I've been working for this first offer my whole junior year. I've been doing extra lifting and running to make myself a better athlete. I've just been working really hard."
A two-year starter, the 5-foot-9, 175-pound Hilton splits time between running back and safety. In college, he could play either, he said.
"I think most are looking at me as a running back and slot receiver type," Hilton said. "But I've told all the coaches, I can go either way. I'll play wherever they want me to play."
Where does Cincinnati like Hilton?
"They didn't tell me," he said.
Besides the Bearcats, Hilton said he is hearing from programs such as Georgia Tech, LSU, Maryland, Notre Dame and Oklahoma State.
As a junior, Hilton had nine interceptions on defense, and rushed for 700-plus yards with 12 touchdowns. During his sophomore season, he played outside linebacker.
Next up for Hilton is an appearance Jan. 29 at Georgia Tech's junior day. According to Hilton, the Yellow Jackets, whose program is located roughly 30 minutes from his home, have shown great interest, and he predicted that school could be the next to offer.
"I've got a feeling it's going to be them," Hilton said. "They come up to the school a lot. I like what I see in Georgia Tech."
Hilton is unsure about what other junior days he might attend.
"I haven't scheduled any others yet," he said. "I haven't really thought about it. I haven't heard much about any others."
Now that offer No. 1 has come, Hilton looks forward to the future.
"Hopefully, some more offers will start rolling in," he said.