Klein (Texas) Oak inside linebacker A.J. Hilliard saw quite a few offers come in during spring practice and they continued into the summer. The 6-foot-2, 215-pound defender had his choice of playing in pretty much any conference in the country.
On Sunday evening Hilliard decided to end the recruiting process. The Houston-area standout is headed to a Pac-12 program.
"I committed to Arizona tonight," Hilliard said. I did it like an hour ago. It just seemed like a really good fit. I called my recruiting coach, coach (Frank) Scelfo, and I talked to my linebacker coach and then the head coach.
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"They were all really excited and glad that I was there. They were telling me I was going to have a great four years at Arizona so I was really glad to hear that."
Hilliard, who says he is completely solid to the Wildcats, hadn't originally planned to commit this evening but just knew the time was right.
"I just woke up today and I just wanted to pull that trigger," he said. "I had to talk to my dad a lot, talk to my brother and some more family. I knew I for sure wanted to do it after that."
Hilliard recently made an unofficial visit to the Tucson campus and came away very impressed with what he saw.
"I visited there last week," he said. "I was really cool. Arizona has a lot to offer and not a lot of people know that. I went there and was really impressed by everything I saw.
"I was just amazed by all the things they were installing. There are new facilities and the jumbotron they're getting is probably like third in the nation. All the facilities are new and kept up really well. All the people I met there were really nice like the coaching staff and the strength coach."
Hilliard is rated as a three-star prospect and the No. 15 inside linebacker in the country. He had a big junior year, tallying 101 tackles, four sacks, two interceptions and a fumble recovery.