Hilliard growing comfortable at Notre Dame

Notre Dame's top target at linebacker, Justin Hilliard of Cincinnati (Ohio) St. Xavier recaps his visit to Notre Dame on Saturday and describes where the Irish stand with him in recruitment. Also, find out when he plans to make his next cut.

Notre Dame hosted the No. 5 ranked outside linebacker in the nation on Saturday for its Blue & Gold game.

Justin Hilliard of Cincinnati (Ohio) St. Xavier has become a familiar face on campus at Notre Dame throughout his recruitment. This was his 6th visit to campus.

"It was just great getting back there," Hilliard said. "It's always great there. I feel really comfortable, and I can just have normal conversations with the coaches since I've met them so often."

Hilliard arrived on campus at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday morning and had a conversation with Irish defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder. He was accompanied on his visit by both of his parents.

"This was my third time meeting him," Hilliard said. "He's coached in the NFL and he really knows what he's doing. He told me how the linebackers were doing this spring and what he liked so far out of his defense."

Hilliard took in the first half of the game and kept an eye on the defense.

"It was good to see them running around again," Hilliard said. "Before the game I was able to talk with Jaylon Smith and Devin Butler, the two guys I'm closest with on the team. They were telling me to focus on my senior season because that's the most important thing right now."

The 6-foot-2, 232-pound linebacker plans to cut his top ten list to five after he visits Florida and Florida State. This spring Hilliard has also taken trips to Alabama, Michigan, Ohio State and Oklahoma. The date of his trip to the Sunshine State is still undetermined.

"It's definitely a good feeling," Hilliard said of his relationship with Notre Dame at this point in recruiting. "I've got a good thing going with the players and the coaches."

Hilliard is a four-star prospect and is ranked as the No. 5 outside linebacker in the class of 2015.

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