(Update: 10:38a Friday – Hilliard was reportedly supposed to make a decision on Thursday, but has delayed it. Details of Hilliard’s situation remain murky which has given his recruitment a unique (and bizarre feel). Scout.com believes Hilliard may make his decision next week but no date has been announced. Stay tuned to The Fizz for news as it breaks.)
While SU fans may still be recovering from the gut punch that was four-star prospect David Perkins’ choice to attend Notre Dame Tuesday, it’s already time to brace for another big decision.
This time around, at least the Orange isn’t fighting a huge territorial disadvantage. Three-star defensive end recruit Myles Hilliard is from Bedford, Ohio, and he is reportedly making his choice today. Hilliard has previously said that Syracuse is in his top five, along with Michigan State, West Virginia, Pittsburgh, and Minnesota.
None of those programs is particularly close to home (Pittsburgh is closest at about two hours away). So if SU comes up empty once again, it’s not because the Orange was trying to pry a recruit from his backyard.
The most striking dynamic about Hilliard’s recruitment is there’s nothing too striking about it. As far as the major recruiting services are concerned, Hilliard received some attention early last year, and then fell off the map until a month ago. Odd for a talented recruit that holds an impressive list of a dozen or so offers.
Hilliard’s local papers don’t have much to say about him either. Maybe they’re a little too preoccupied with the Ohio State football scandal.
What does the lack of hype surrounding Hilliard say about his potential? Not very much. Scout calls him “underrated,” and The Fizz agrees. While not a blue-chipper, he would still be a very solid get for the Orange and Doug Marrone.
The highlight tape features Hilliard at defensive tackle (in addition to offensive tackle), but he is widely regarded as a defensive end prospect. At 6’6″, 250 pounds, a major positive for Hilliard is that he can legitimately be groomed into either an end or tackle at the next level. That versatility is something the SU coaches love. And the Orange could certainly use some more depth all across the defensive line.
Hilliard has gotten such a small amount of attention it’s impossible to identify a front-runner for his services. The only school he’s even been associated with beyond offers is West Virginia. Hilliard visited Morgantown for the spring game along with Bedford teammate Tyvis Powell (who was also offered by SU).
If Syracuse lands Hilliard, Powell and Ohio State deserve big thank yous. The high school teammates could have very easily gone to West Virginia together as a package deal, but the Buckeyes threw Powell a last-minute scholarship offer that he quickly accepted. Hilliard, without an offer from hometown OSU, is now on his own. Perhaps the Mountaineers aren’t looking so attractive anymore for Hilliard without his buddy Powell.
Boom Perkins bailed on Syracuse at the last minute following an offer from his hometown powerhouse, so wouldn’t it be ironic if a similar turn of events actually helped the Orange get a recruit just a few days later?
Follow The Fizz on Twitter (@orangefizz) for up-to-the-minute breaking news and recruiting decisions, including Hilliard’s.
Posted: Andrew Kanell