- Jared Shanker, ESPN Staff Writer
Bedford (Ohio) defensive lineman Myles Hilliard is not a good liar. So his dad, Rudy, had a pretty good idea a switch to Syracuse from Pittsburgh for the three-star recruit was coming.
Hilliard made it official on Monday night, becoming the Orange’s 24th commitment of the 2012 class.
“I went on an official visit two weeks ago, and I felt like it was a great atmosphere – a lot of great people,” Hilliard said. “That sealed the deal. I felt like a part of the Syracuse family.
When former Pitt coach Todd Graham bolted for Arizona State in December, Hilliard didn’t immediately begin rethinking his commitment as some of the staff remained in place. Once it became clear new coach Paul Chryst would be bringing in his own coaches, Hilliard began looking at other schools more seriously.
In a hastily put together meeting, a Syracuse coach -- recruiting in Florida at the time -- met with Hilliard at a McDonald’s in Bedford. The Orange staff was high on Hilliard despite his commitment and recruited him since his sophomore season.
On his visit, Hilliard got a look at the Syracuse depth chart and liked what he saw.
“The biggest part was the depth chart and where I would fit in,” he said. “I had a couple of Big Ten offers, but in the Big Ten there are about six or seven people at my position.
“Here they are graduating two or three people at my position, so I feel there is a great opportunity here.
“The decision was pretty cut and dry.”
Syracuse coach Doug Marrone sold Hilliard not just on the depth chart but the type of defense the Orange run and will use Hilliard.
“They run so many stunts and defenses that the D-linemen can run so many different plays and being there they told me I’d be rushing off the edge as a five-technique,” Hilliard said. “I’m going to be strictly off the edge my first year and get used to it, and closer to my sophomore, junior and senior years I’ll be moving closer inside.”
513dTom Luginbill and Craig Haubert