Pair of 2015 Five-Star Defenders Set to Announce July 2
By Tony Gerdeman
COLUMBUS, Ohio — If the prognosticators are a good indicator of future events, then it sure appears that business is about to pick up in the Ohio State recruiting world this week.
Five-star defensive end Jashon Cornell (6-4 260) and five-star linebacker Justin Hilliard (6-2 230) are both set to announce their college decisions this Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. at ESPN.com.
The announcements will be staggered, but having them aligned this closely together would seem to be the type of football feng shui that the Buckeye coaches can get behind.
Cornell, from powerhouse Cretin-Derham Hall in St. Paul, Minnesota, is rated a five-star prospect by both 247Sports and ESPN, and four stars by both Rivals and Scout. He was once rated the #1 overall player in the class per ESPN.
He will be choosing between Ohio State, Notre Dame, Michigan State, Iowa and Penn State. Cornell was scheduled to visit Penn State recently, but has since canceled that visit.
Both Michigan State and Notre Dame have led in this race previously, but now it looks like the Buckeyes are out in front. Cornell was originally going to announce on August 28, but has obviously scrapped that plan for a more accelerated one.
Hilliard, meanwhile, was also thought to be a Notre Dame lean at one point, but he as well appears to have swung OSU's way.
He is rated the #1 outside linebacker in the nation per 247Sports and ESPN, as well as the #1 inside linebacker per Rivals and Scout.
Hilliard will be choosing between Ohio State, Notre Dame, Iowa, Alabama and Michigan.
He played in seven games last season before suffering a foot injury. He finished with 76 tackles, seven tackles for loss, four sacks and an interception in the regular season.
In the Rivals and Scout Era (since 2002), the Buckeyes have never landed commitments from two five-star prospects in the same day. The closest they came was in the 2003 class when Dontre Whitner and Dareus Hiley committed on the same day. Whitner was a five-star prospect and the #1 cornerback in the nation. Hiley was a high four-star prospect and the #6 cornerback in the nation.
If the Buckeyes do land both Cornell and Hilliard, they would give OSU their second commitments at each position in the 2015 class. The Buckeyes already have four-star prospects Dre'Mont Jones (defensive end) and Nick Conner (defensive end) committed.
Even if they do get commitments from both, they will still not yet be done recruiting either position.
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