Klein (Texas) Oak linebacker A.J. Hilliard was one of the more impressive prospects in the state this past season. The 6-foot-2, 210-pound junior was simply all over the field making plays for the Panthers.
Hilliard has long held an offer from Houston but other schools are starting to take notice of him now that spring ball has arrived. In fact, he picked up a pair of new offers over the past two days.
"I was offered by Minnesota today," Hilliard said on Thursday evening. "That's two in two days along with West Virginia yesterday. It's pretty exciting. I had talked to both of those schools on Facebook and they had told me they were coming down to see me."
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Schools may have seemed reluctant to offer in the past because they had never actually seen Hilliard play.
"I showed them my highlight tape," he said of the Minnesota and West Virginia coaches. "I've noticed, over the offseason, a lot of schools haven't been getting all that serious with me because they haven't seen me play.
"Some of the schools that were talking to me were basically talking to me because of my stats. They were like, 'OK, he has a lot of tackles and he looks good on paper.' Once they see me in my highlight tape they usually like it and then they want to come to my school and watch me play in person."
With several weeks still left in the spring practice period, Hilliard could be closing in on more offers as well.
"Missouri right now seems like they're pretty close to offering me," he said. "Northwestern came by to watch me play but they are going over my transcripts first before they offer.
"As far as other schools, I'm not exactly sure when they're coming into town. When they come down they'll let me know about offering or not. I think (Texas) A&M is coming soon and they're interested in me. I'm not really sure who else is coming down."
As far as early favorites, the standout defender does admit one in-state school has his attention at the moment.
"TCU came today," Hilliard said. "I've been liking TCU for a few years since I'm from that area originally. Their coach was watching me, Nicky Baratti and E.J. Fatu so hopefully I'll get an offer from them in the future."
Hilliard finished his junior season with 101 tackles, four sacks, two interceptions and a fumble recovery.