Update, June 3, 11 a.m. CT - C.J. Hilliard said in a text that he narrowed his list to two, Iowa and Indiana, and will announce his decision between those schools on Thursday, June 6.
C.J. Hilliard's college education will be paid for him. It's a scholarship resulting from his football exploits. A key component beyond the game will factor greatly into his decision on where to play at the next level, however.
"The relationship I have with the coaches is important," the Cincinnati St. Xavier running back said. "I want them to take an interest in me not just because of football but also in what I do off of the field. I'd like for them to be a factor in my life not just on the football field."
"They're all pretty even," Hilliard said.
With Indiana and Iowa visits behind him, Hilliard is hoping to see Boston College before the middle of the month.
"I'll probably end my recruiting process after that," he said. "I'll probably have a decision after that visit if I make it down there. That's the plan, pretty much."
Hilliard said there's a chance he'll be back in Iowa City on June 15. Even if he doesn't visit anymore schools, he said he wants to have his commitment made by the end of the month.
One dynamic to keep in mind with Hilliard is that is younger brother, Justin Hilliard, is a standout linebacker in the 2015 class. He reports offers from Boston College, Indiana and Iowa along with Arkansas, Georgia Tech, Miami, Michigan State, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Penn State, among others.
"We don't really talk about it a lot," C.J. said. "We'd like to go to college together but it's not something that needs to happen. If it happens, it happens, but it's not like we're talking about it daily.
"I guess you could say that it's in the back of our minds. It would be pretty cool."
The brothers joining forces in college will come down to Justin picking the school to which C.J. is committed. With that decision on the horizon, he talks about his three finalists (alphabetical order):
Boston College - "I've talked to Coach (Steve) Addazio several times and he's a really cool guy. He knows a lot about offense and tells me how he likes how I'd fit into their offense. I have not been there but I have a lot of friends from my school that go there, Steve Daniels and Sean Duggan (current Eagles). They say that they love it. They say that they love the coaching staff; love the fans; the atmosphere up in Boston, the lifestyle there."
Indiana - "I really love the coaching staff at Indiana. The campus life is awesome there. People there really look out for you. They care about what you do off of the field. Good academics. The student atmosphere is great. They really love football players and athletes in general. I have a really good relationship with the running backs coach (Deland McCullough), the head coach (Kevin Wilson) and the offensive coordinator (Seth Littrell). They're really cool guys. They take a liking to people off of the field as football players."
Iowa - "I had a good time going to their spring game with my family. I have a really good relationship with their running backs coach (Chris White). Coach (Kirk) Ferentz is a great guy. He's going to be there for you. They've been there for 15 years. I love the school. The academics are great. I'm looking to study business or communications and those are probably two of the top majors at the school. The campus life is awesome. I talked to (Ross Pierschbacher) when I was out there and he said he loved it. He'd been going to games since he was a freshman and he loves the people there, loves the fans."