The original top half of Hilliman’s 10 schools, which he released April 1, is still intact. Alabama, Michigan, Ohio State, Rutgers and Stanford are all in his new top seven. Boston College and Vanderbilt join those five schools to round out Hilliman’s top group.
When Hilliman released his top 10, he gave the order of Ohio State, Michigan, Alabama, Rutgers and Stanford as his top five. He said he is not slotting those schools any longer.
“It’s varied,” he said. “The numbers are pretty much out the window; it’s the schools showing the most interest and fitting my criteria and feel I’d like to go see.
“… The in-state school [Rutgers], it’s easy for them to show a lot of interest. Definitely Ohio State, I know how much of a priority [he is] for them in the Class of 2014. Michigan has been in the running since pretty early. Alabama is showing new interest.”
The criteria for the 6-foot-1, 202-pound running back begins with the academics.
“A strong academic standpoint for athletes -- academic support staff will be very important,” he said. “Every football program is a great program, so personally it’s how comfortable I feel on campus and with my teammates around me and the coaching staff.”