Hillary, a duel threat wide receiver and cornerback at Sycamore HS, has used every bit of his 5-11 frame to impress the coaches with his speed, technique and agility. With the Badgers bringing in three cornerbacks in the 2011 recruiting class and having young depth at the position, Hillary was redshirted and has gotten comfortable mastering one position.
"I take it as a chance, an opportunity to get better to where you want to work on your technique the most," Hillary said. "Obviously going up against the first team, they are always good. I'm always doing something to get better for the year upcoming."
In the return of our popular series for subscribers, Badger Nation does a meet and greet with the newer members of the Wisconsin football team, shedding a light on some of the unknown kids that figure to be important parts of the Badgers' future.
Asking 15 questions, we call this segment the Freshman Fifteen.
What's been the hardest part for you adjusting to college life?
Hillary: I would say managing your time just because you have to be so many places. From class, you have to head to practice and make it on time for all the meetings. You have to be really consistent and make sure you aren't late. The thing that has changed a lot for me from high school to college has been that for me.
What's been the hardest part adjusting to college football?
Hillary: I would say the speed of the game is a lot faster than high school but once you get reps and start to learn the calls more, you can slow the game down a little bit.
Since you arrived here, how have you changed your body to prepare for the college game?
Hillary: I would say doing the little things for right. For example, making sure your footsteps are right when you are backpedaling and stuff like that. The little things are so important because you are one step away from making a mistake that leads to something big. That's been a major part of what I've been working on.
How is living in Madison different than your home town of Cincinnati, Ohio? What's the biggest difference?
Hillary: I would say there are a lot more people and this town is a lot more friendly. That's really it pretty much.
What is your major?
Hillary: Right now I am thinking about doing something with business. It's not for sure yet, but something in international business or marketing. That's what I am thinking.
What are you hoping to do after college?
Hillary: Right now I am not really sure. Only the future holds that. I honestly don't really know, but I am looking forward to figuring that out over the next couple of years.
What's your favorite place on the Madison campus?
Hillary: Gordon Commons by far. It's a place where me and a couple of other freshmen go every time after study table to eat, hang out and meet new people.
What's your least favorite place on campus?
Hillary: I really don't have a least favorite place. I really haven't ventured out much yet just because of the stressful schedule. Once the season is over, I'll be able to get out more and check out the libraries, campus buildings and get involved more in campus life.
What do you enjoy doing most in your free time when you get the chance to kick back and relax?
Hillary: I enjoy hanging out with people in the dorms and just getting to know new people other than the football team. That's like a fraternity in itself. I like hanging out with other people and meeting new people.
Who do you live with and how is that going?
Hillary: Freshman wide receiver A.J. Jordan. It's good. We really don't butt heads much. We met each other during the spring game and lived with each other over the summer. We know each other's tendencies and what to and what not to do. We are pretty open with each other, so that's good.
What's the most interesting thing you've learn about him since you starting living with him?
Hillary: I wouldn't say much. I thought he would be more the person that is down to business but when you talk to him, he's pretty laid back and pretty funny.
Where does your biggest support come from? Family? Friends? Teammates?
Hillary: It's definitely my parents. They always check in with him and when some things don't go well on some days, I can always express myself to them and they let me know to keep the faith and that things will be all right. Up here, it's Coach Ash and the senior DBs, guys like Antonio Fenelus and Aaron Henry, that are always helping me out.
What's your parents reaction to you playing college football here, being on your own for the first time and starting your journey at this school?
Hillary: They are definitely excited. They always told me whatever I wanted to do after high school was up to me. If football wasn't the road, it obviously was going to be the education because that's what comes first in my family. They have always been real supportive of that.
It doesn't have to be football related, but what do you feel has been the greatest accomplishment of your life?
Hillary: One thing that I definitely put up high is being a member of National Honors Society. I was inducted last year and I've always kept that as a motivator to keep me going with my academics. My parents have always been supportive of that.
What's the best part of being a Wisconsin football player and putting on that red and white jersey?
Hillary: It's really exciting. Everything we put on that jersey or something like that logo, it always represents Wisconsin and you want to put that in a respectful manor to not do anything to disrupt that. Going out on to the field, it just makes you anxious and makes you want to play even harder for the fans.