Hilliard Enjoyed Irish Visit

A 2012 Blue Gold game attendee, running back C.J. Hilliard knows he's still got some time before college coaches come knocking on his door. What have the Irish told the 2014 running back?

Notre Dame is no stranger to Cincinnati (OH) St. Xavier High School as the Irish signed a couple of players from the program since Brian Kelly arrived on campus.

Now the Irish are showing interest in Bomber running back C.J. Hilliard who visited campus this past weekend.

"I just got back from the Notre Dame spring game," said Hilliard. "I met a few of the coaches while I was there and was very impressed with what I saw.

"The overall atmosphere at Notre Dame with the fans makes it like a family atmosphere. The campus was really close and really tight knit where everyone seemed equal with no one above anyone else."

While Hilliard was not a starter last season, it was for a good reason.

"Last season I backed up Conor Hundley," explained Hilliard. "He was all-state and was just a beast."

While the Irish can view some film of the 5-foot-10, 185-pound who saw his carries increase towards the end of the season, they have made it clear what he'll have to do to earn an offer.

"Notre Dame wants me to come up to camp so they can evaluate me," said Hilliard.

While impressed by the overall atmosphere on his visit it was other things that sold Hilliard on the Irish.

"You can see the coaching staff pushes the kids really hard," said Hilliard. "They get the best out of them and I really liked watching the staff coach as you can see they expect a lot in return.

"Football is secondary as academics are everything. Notre Dame offers a good academic program and that caught my eye. Studying comes first and football comes secondary."

At this time Hilliard is making plans to camp this summer with the Irish and others as he juggles his summer baseball plans. Irisheyes.com will continue to follow Hilliard in the coming months for any changes in his recruitment.

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