Alabama solidifies its spot with Hilliard

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Alabama was one of four schools in Rivals100 linebacker Justin Hilliard's top ten that the four-star had not yet visited, but he checked that box this weekend with a trip to Tuscaloosa.
"It was a really, really good visit," Hilliard said. "It was my first time in Alabama, so I got to see how I fit in with the people, got to see a scrimmage, talk to coach (Nick) Saban and see the academic standpoint."
Both Hilliard and his father had individual conversations on the phone with Saban prior to the visit, and got to know him better on the visit.
"He was awesome," Hilliard said. "We talked for about 45 minutes about everything from football to academics to Alabama's lifestyle. We definitely had a good talk."
The Cincinnati (Ohio) St. Xavier linebacker said Alabama is now a solid member of his top ten after seeing the school. It will likely be his only visit to campus before he narrows his list again, and he was able to answer the remaining questions he had about the program.
"I guess a couple things surprised me," he said. "Alabama does run a tight ship and is all about their business, but I think some people might think they are robots and they definitely have a lot of fun down there. The guys are energetic and flying around, which was pretty cool.
"Being down south in Alabama for the first time I just wanted to see how I fit in with the players. Basically, they are the same people except with a little bit of an accent."
Hilliard was able to spend individual time with several members of the Crimson Tide's linebacker corps, including one who hails from his own home state.
"I went out with Denzel (Devall), (Reggie) Ragland and (Trey) DePriest," Hilliard said. "I was talking with DePriest because he is an Ohio kid and he told me how it is coming from Ohio. He said it really is not that bad and football is a religion down there, so they really appreciate everything you do."
Hilliard preceded the Alabama visit with trips to Michigan and Ohio State in March. His next visit will be April 12 to attend Notre Dame's spring game.
Josh Helmholdt is the Midwest Region football recruiting analyst for You can click here to follow him on Twitter.
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