Hilliman Could Fit Well with Irish

Jonathan Hilliman

St. Peter's Prep (Jersey City, N.J.) running back Jonathan Hilliman plans to attend Notre Dame's junior day next month, and could fit will into the Irish's offenses.

St. Peter's Prep running back Jonathan Hilliman doesn't hold a Notre Dame offer yet, but he should get a better indication of what the Irish are thinking when he attends the March 23 junior day.

However, Rich Hansen, the long-time coach at St. Peter's Prep, knows his latest standout running back would be a very good fit for the Irish's offense.

"It's a great program, and what they do offensive fits what he wants to be and who he is," Hansen said. "Coupled with the education, Notre Dame is a great place and I would say they are very high on his list."

Hilliman holds double digit offers, including ones from Nebraska, North Carolina, Georgia Tech, Miami, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Michigan, Rutgers and Penn State, but has yet to be extended one from the Irish.

However, after averaging nearly 11 yards per carry as a junior (106 carries, 1,156 yards,12 touchdowns), the Irish increased their interest dramatically. Notre Dame defensive coordinator Bob Diaco, who recruits New Jersey, stopped in during the winter to check on Hilliman.

"Jon is 6-foot-1 ¼, he's 210 pounds and he's probably going to play the season at 215," Hansen said. "He's a bigger back with good speed, so it just adds another dynamic. He has huge hands, he can catch the football, and the thing he does really well that people are finding out now that I've discussed with college coaches …he is a tremendous blocker.

"He's not afraid to do it. He's wants to do it. He understands protections."

Hansen also said St. Peter's has many of the same conceptual plays as the Irish.

"He's a bigger back, has great vision and runs the zone play very well," Hansen said. "We run a lot of stuff out of the shotgun, and I think what he's done up to this point is what they are, so the transition to college running would be smoother for him because he'd be used to some of the things they do.

"He has a good skill set for that style offense."

Hilliman already visited Rutgers, and Hansen said he expects his running back to visit schools in Florida, as well as North Carolina, Maryland, Boston College, Nebraska and Michigan.

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