Hilliard recaps return visit to Notre Dame

Linebacker Justin Hilliard of Cincinnati (Ohio) St. Xavier recaps his visit to Notre Dame, and he previews a list of favorites to be released in the near future.

Linebacker Justin Hilliard of Cincinnati (Ohio) St. Xavier visited Notre Dame on Saturday for the Irish's game against Michigan State. It was his second visit to campus. The first came this summer.

"I went with my dad, and we got there around noon and saw the team walk, which was really cool," Hilliard said.

Hilliard said the highlight of the day was his conversation with Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly.

"Before the game, I got to talk with Coach Kelly," Hilliard said. "We didn't really talk about recruiting, we just go to know each other and got to build more of a relationship. After the game, I got to talk about the game with Coach Kelly, Coach Diaco and Coach Elston."

Notre Dame is recruiting Hilliard to play middle linebacker, and Hilliard said he kept his eye on the play of the Irish linebackers in a key defensive performance against the Spartans.

"I thought the linebackers were a big key to the game," Hilliard said. "The game was a lot of fun. I talked to some of the other recruits, like Darrin Hall and Drue Tranquill."

So far this season, Hilliard has already made trips to Ohio State, Michigan and Notre Dame.

"Those three are all great schools," Hilliard said. "I don't know quite yet how they stack up with one another, but I like them all. I'll be coming out with a top ten pretty soon."

Hilliard plans to visit Arkansas soon, though no date has been set. As he makes his rounds to different schools, the 6-foot-2, 210-pound linebacker is placing an emphasis on coaching staffs.

"How comfortable I feel with the coaching staff is going to be a big factor," Hilliard said. "How comfortable I feel in general at the school will matter soon."

Hilliard is a four-star prospect and is ranked as the No. 6 outside linebacker in 2015. Michigan and Notre Dame are the primary schools recruiting him to play inside linebacker.

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