Rivals100 linebacker Justin Hilliard has systematically gone about paring his list of close to 50 scholarship offers, and he made another cut on Monday.
Ten schools remain in contention for the nation's No. 1 inside linebacker prospect after the latest round of cuts - Alabama, Florida, Florida State, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma and USC.
"Narrowing it down helps them out and helps me out as well," Hilliard said. "It helps me focus on the schools and make a better decision for myself. I'll keep narrowing it down until I get one school that I want to go to."
Finding that one school is the ultimate goal, and Hilliard is not locked into a set time frame for making that decision.
"It's not based on time, it's based on when I get all my visits in," Hilliard said. "Once I get to all the (schools) in my top ten, I'll come up with my top five and then I'll go around and visit those schools again. From there I'll keep narrowing it down until I know for sure."
Hilliard has visited all but four of the schools remaining on his list, and he could knock one more off this weekend. Final details have not been set, but Hilliard and his father are considering taking a trip to Alabama Saturday. They have both been in close contact with head coach Nick Saban recently.
"We try to talk once every two weeks," Hilliard said. "(Saban) is actually the main coach I talk to on the coaching staff. He is very professional and answers all the questions I have."
Florida, Florida State and USC are the other three schools he has yet to visit, and he hopes to see each this spring, or this summer at the latest.
Hilliard had considered making a visit to Iowa this past weekend, where his brother C.J. Hilliard is set to enroll in June. That trip did not occur, but he expects to see Iowa City soon.
"I think we are going to go over there when C.J. visits," Hilliard said. "We won't be going to (the spring game), but we are supposed to be setting up something to get back down there. I know once C.J. gets up there I will be visiting a lot."
The weekend of April 12 has also been set aside for a college visit. Michigan, Notre Dame and Ohio State are the three possible destinations that weekend, and Hilliard said he will most likely end up in South Bend for the Fighting Irish's spring game.
Josh Helmholdt is the Midwest Region football recruiting analyst for Rivals.com. You can click here to follow him on Twitter.
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