A June unofficial visitor to Ohio State, the St. Peter's Prep (N.J.) star's next stop will be a two-day stint at Rutgers Wednesday and Thursday.
"Rutgers has always been recruiting me pretty hard and I've always liked them from the beginning," Hilliman said. "I'm excited to visit coming up. … I've been in really good contact. Me and coach [Ron] Prince have been talking the past three weeks. We've just been trying to find a day for me to meet people and see all the old coaches and pretty much get a better relationship with them."
Hilliman was one of the premiere junior day visitors on campus and saw multiple camps, games and practices during the last two years. What he has not seen, however, is an in-depth look at the academic opportunities.
"I know just about all of the things I need to know about football, but the academics and the new coaches are important," Hilliman said. "I want to meet some of the new coaches that I haven't seen on my prior visits."
"I've heard a lot from them," Hilliman said. "They told me that Rutgers is a place where academics are very strong. It's a lot of work but you're getting a lot of help and support. They have a great support staff for their athletes. It's definitely something that's very doable, so that's good."
Academics will be one of the top factors when Hilliman looks at a decision.
"A degree from a prestigious school, a respected degree is definitely something that I'm looking into a lot that's going to weigh into my decision," he said. "I just want to go to a school where I can be secure on the field and off afterwards. I want to go to a school that's going to challenge me, but not be too overwhelming. Academics is the highest reason for me to be going to a school."
Miami, Vanderbilt, Alabama and Michigan round out Hilliman's top six. Visits to Alabama and Michigan are up in the air with scheduling issues but Vanderbilt and Miami remain set. Miami is next on the scheduling, coming Aug. 10.