DB Darius Hillary Has Illini Connections

Darius Hillary (Jack Lyman)

In college football recruiting, relationships are important. A high school athlete with friends already on a college campus can learn what that school is really like. Darius Hillary has offers from a number of top schools, but one thing to the Illini's advantage is that high school teammates Steve Hull and Bud Golden are at the UI.

Darius Hillary is a cornerback at Sycamore High School in Cincinnati. Former teammates Steve Hull, a receiver, and running back Bud Golden have bragged about Illinois frequently.

"Yes sir, I talk with them a lot. When they're on campus, and then when they're at home we usually hang out. It's fun to hang out with those guys again. They're really good friends. They always talk to me about Illinois. I definitely think they'll get a good chance to play this fall."

Hillary attended an Illinois camp summer of 2009 and came away with a scholarship offer. He rattled off his entire offer list.

"Besides Illinois, I've gotten offers from Stanford, Boston College, Miami of Ohio, Ohio University, Western Kentucky, Buffalo, Connecticut, Marshall, Minnesota, Syracuse, Wisconsin, Duke, Illinois State and Kent State. I was trying to think of all of them."

The polite young man doesn't need to impress anyone at summer camps, but he definitely wishes to get a better feel for his choices.

"I want to get out to some of the places and see how it goes and whether I like it or not. That's what I'm gonna base my decision on. I'd like to go and visit the coaches and see how everything goes.

"I think we're going to Wisconsin and Stanford, and I kind of want to check out UK. I'll probably be coming up to Illinois soon as well."

There is no doubt where Hillary's priorities lie.

"First and foremost is academics. I want to graduate from college and have a pretty good job. And then find a place where I can be around for 4 or 5 years because if I don't like it, it's not gonna be the greatest experience for me. And then meeting new people and making new friends. Building good memories, things like that."

Distance from home is not a factor.

"I could go as far away as Stanford or as close as Illinois or Indiana. My parents told me it's all up to me. I just have to sit down and make that decision."

The 5'-10", 170 pounder will take his time before finalizing anything.

"I'm probably gonna take my official visits."

Hillary is a thinking man's cornerback. He describes his best traits.

"My ability to think on my feet. And when we have to make changes on defense, getting the call out to everybody. And not being afraid to make a play."

Sycamore struggled on the field last fall.

"Our season didn't go as well as we thought it would. We were 2-8. I think this year we'll be a whole lot better. We had a lot more sophomores and underclassmen starting on varsity."

Interceptions are rare when your high school team is porous versus running games.

"Unfortunately, I didn't have any interceptions this past year. I played free safety, and a lot of teams ran the ball against us."

Hillary is a three-sport athlete who will undoubtedly improve as a football player when he can devote full time to his preferred sport.

"I play basketball and track. In basketball we didn't do too good either. But this year our track team did pretty decent overall in our conference. So I'm happy about that. I ran the 100, 200 and 4 X 100. My best hundred time was 10.9. The 200 wasn't my best event. That's just something to keep me going for the meets."

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