Hillary Running Up the Offers

There's no question that cornerback is one of the main positions of focus for the University of Wisconsin in the 2011 recruiting cycle. A speedy, dynamic athlete like Sycamore (Cincinnati) High's Darius Patton can be the answer to plenty of problems.

MADISON - Fill out all the areas of need in the Wisconsin's 2011 recruiting class and the position of cornerback sticks out like a burnt defensive back.

With only five scholarship cornerbacks participating in spring camp off a unit that was consistently inconsistent in 2010, finding speedy cornerback to cover talented wide receivers is the main objective.

If speed is what the Badgers want, Darius Hillary is what the Badgers are looking for.

Timed at a 4.45 40-yard dash last summer, Hillary (5-foot-10, 170 pounds) was an early target by many coaches because of the speed and athleticism he showcased for Sycamore High throughout his junior campaign.

"My speed is probably one of my best attributes, along with being able to think on my feet," Hillary told Badger Nation. "If something goes wrong, I am able to bounce back from it and play hard."

That confidence came through in the film he handed off to Wisconsin recruiting coordinator Joe Rudolph. Making the trip to Cincinnati to visit with Hillary, a three-star cornerback that is ranked No.79 at his position by Scout.com, Rudolph used his one phone call of the spring evaluation period to make an impact with the cornerback.

"Coach Rudolph called on hand he told me they were going to offer me." Hillary said. "He came to my high school just to introduce himself, got a chance to talk to me and told me that the coaches were going to check me out on film. I still don't know much about Wisconsin, but I am excited about it and just looking forward to getting out there and checking everything out."

In addition to Wisconsin, Hillary has picked up offers from Boston College, Buffalo, Connecticut, Duke, Illinois, Illinois State, Indiana, Kent State, Kentucky, Marshall, Miami (OH), Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Stanford and Western Kentucky.

"Any offer I get, I have been excited about," said Hillary, who said Boston College, Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin have been showing the most interest recently. "I haven't started narrowing my list, so I have to sit down and figure out which schools are a yes, which ones are a maybe and which ones are a no."

Hillary plans to do that with a scheduled visit today to Stanford, one to Boston College two weeks later and a tentative plan to visit Wisconsin and Kentucky before the start of his season in August.

"I am looking forward to checking out some places," said Hillary, who plans to take five official visits.

The importance for Hillary to get back to his team in August is vital, especially since the 2009 season was a disappointment. With a team full of sophomores and a young quarterback, the season was a struggle, but allowed Hillary to grow into a leadership position.

"I am going to do my best to keep my teammate's heads in the game and keep motivating people when my teammates do something wrong," Hillary said. "When you start arguing with your team, you don't play as well together. When everyone is encouraged, everyone is going to play up to their best.

"That's what I am going to do this year. I am going to force myself to the best I can, whether it's being on the field at all times or encouraging people on the sidelines to make the best of all situations."

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