Hilty Earns MVP Honors In North-South Game

Each year it seems future Bearcats have learned to leave their mark during all-star competition. Mike Hilty was no different leaving his mark in the countries longest running all-star game.

Last summer Walt Stewart walked away with defensive MVP honors at the longest running high school all-star game in the country; the Ohio North-South Classic presented each year by the Ohio High School Coaches Association. This year was no differed as another Bearcat defensive recruit followed in Stewart's footsteps as Mike Hilty earned the same honor.

This block on special teams helped the South team score.

It's too bad June 20th is not during the college football season. For it seems Mike Hilty (Powell/Ohio/Olentangy) likes that day for some reason or another. Last year Hilty issued his verbal commitment to the Cincinnati Bearcats and this year he earned the South teams Defensive MVP honors for his play in the Ohio North-South Classic held at Ohio State.

Making the tackle

Playing on the Buckeyes home turf pumped Hilty up as he looks forward to the next time he'll get the chance to do so.

"I can't wait to come back here and get booed in front of the Ohio State fans. I like being booed; it's just the way I am as I like people being against me because I'll have a chance to show them what I'm capable of doing."

Offensive linemen had a hard time with the future Bearcat

While Hilty will have to wait a few seasons for the OSU boo-birds he knows the past week was a dream come true and one he'll remember.

A new look for Mike Hilty

"You know we came in to this week not knowing anybody but once we got together things just clicked like we'd been a team all along. I can't believe it's over already because it seems like we just got here. Playing in this game was something I wanted to do for a long time. I never thought I'd have the chance to do it but now that I have it's time to move on to the next big thing."

As a high school player Mike Hilty worked hard to have a chance to earn a scholarship. Looking back now what does he remember most?

"I couldn't believe it when it happened. I went into camps just telling myself that I was going to give everything I had and take the best offer that came. Then after camp I was in contact with the coaches and they told me to just hold on as they were talking about me. Then I learned I had the offer and went out to dinner with my family and told them Cincinnati's were I wanted to be. I knew I wanted to go there."

As with most first year players getting ready to report (June 21) Hilty is nervous to get started.

"Right now I'm just trying to figure out what I'm going to do at Cincinnati. While I was excited about knowing I was going to be a Bearcat it was also hard to watch last season because I wanted to be there on the sidelines and at the Orange Bowl. To see the potential we have and what we're capable of doing over the next several years is amazing. I know I can't wait to get started."

Since signing day some things have changed with where Mike thought he'd be. With a new defensive scheme the first year player has learned he'll be playing a different position than what he thought he'd be playing.

"I was so excited to play the defensive end spot in the defense they played last year. I couldn't wait to rush the passer of the edge but this week has allowed me the chance to move over and play defensive tackle (5-spot) and I've really liked what I'm capable of doing there. Just getting the pads on this week felt real good."

While most of the class is getting ready to report for their first week they've not been strangers to each other.

"I talk a lot with Dan Sprague and also Will Saddler and Patrick O'Donnell. In fact I've talked with a lot of the guys as we're all excited to get down to campus and get started."

As you can see by Mike's picture with this story he's had a small change in his hair style. It this something Bearcat fans should be looking for?

"We were all together last night and one of the guys had some clippers with him so a few of us made the choice to get the cut. I like it, but I'm going to cut if off for summer and let my hair grow back. Maybe it will come back during camp."

One thing is for sure. Mike Hilty and his family are excited about the future as Mike begins his Bearcats journey.

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