Rivals100 linebacker Justin Hilliard is weeks away from a decision, and is taking his final visits to Notre Dame and Ohio State this weekend. This past weekend he made his first trip to Iowa in more than a year.
"The last time I went up there we didn't get an in-depth visit," Hilliard said. "It was mainly go to the (spring) game and get to talk to the coaches. I definitely got a lot more chance this time to hang out with Coach (Jim) Reid, hang out with the players and see the Business School.
"I loved everything and it was definitely a great visit. Especially Coach Reid, he put in a lot of effort and is probably one of my favorite coaches. I think the biggest thing was building the relationship with the people at Iowa."
Seeing one of his top five schools was only part of the reason Hilliard was in Iowa City this weekend. He and his parents were also there to drop his brother, C.J. Hilliard, off to start his career as a Hawkeye.
"I am really excited for him," Hilliard said. "The group of guys he is with right now are really good guys and he is definitely going to have a good time. Hopefully he finds the right fit, keeps working hard and gets some playing time this year."
Hilliard expressed interest in playing at the same school with his brother when his recruitment started as a sophomore, but 50-plus offers and many visits later he has a lot more considerations when selecting his own college home.
"I think that would definitely be cool to play with C.J., but there's some different things (to consider)," Hilliard said. "I guess we'll see how it works out, but I think it would be cool to play with my brother."
Iowa is joined by Alabama, Michigan, Notre Dame and Ohio State in Hilliard's top five. He will see two more of those schools this coming weekend.
"Actually, I have a busy weekend," Hilliard said. "Me and my dad are heading up to Notre Dame Friday, then he is going to drop me off at Ohio State on Saturday. These will probably be my last two visits. I might fly down to Alabama, but I doubt it."
These final visits will set the stage for a college commitment that is expected from Hilliard in just a few, short weeks.
"I will be coming out with a date here soon," he said. "It will be sometime late June or early July."
Josh Helmholdt is a Midwest Region football recruiting analyst for Rivals.com. You can click here to follow him on Twitter.
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