Ohio State '15 OH LB (SR) - Justin Hilliard

Discussion in 'Player Profiles' started by OSUBasketballJunkie, Jun 9, 2013.

  1. OSUBasketballJunkie

    OSUBasketballJunkie Proud to be a Buckeye Staff Member

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  2. OSUBasketballJunkie

    OSUBasketballJunkie Proud to be a Buckeye Staff Member

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  3. OSUBasketballJunkie

    OSUBasketballJunkie Proud to be a Buckeye Staff Member

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    Hilliard has returned from his Achilles injury and listed as the backup at the "bullet" position.
     
  4. OSUBasketballJunkie

    OSUBasketballJunkie Proud to be a Buckeye Staff Member

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  5. OSUBasketballJunkie

    OSUBasketballJunkie Proud to be a Buckeye Staff Member

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  6. TexasBuckeye

    TexasBuckeye Well-Known Member

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    Is gonna show when Big 10 play starts.
    Go Bucks!
     
  7. OSUBasketballJunkie

    OSUBasketballJunkie Proud to be a Buckeye Staff Member

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  8. OSUBasketballJunkie

    OSUBasketballJunkie Proud to be a Buckeye Staff Member

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    It was great to see Justin out there starting today..........

    Battled injuries his whole career.........

    You know he was excited to play an important role today.........
     
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  9. OSUBasketballJunkie

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  10. OSUBasketballJunkie

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  11. OSUBasketballJunkie

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    When Justin Hilliard ruptured his Achilles tendon on March 23, he thought his Ohio State career might be over.

    Achilles injuries can take up to a year or longer to recover from, and the fifth-year senior linebacker had just one more year of remaining eligibility. Unless he recovered much faster than usual, Hilliard faced the possibility of never playing another snap of football.

    Hilliard didn’t give up, though, and set his sights on returning to the field in just six months. That’s what fellow Ohio State linebacker Tuf Borland did after suffering the same injury in 2018, and that’s exactly what Hilliard did too, making his season debut in the Buckeyes’ third game of the year against Indiana on Sept. 14.

    “The day I tore it was probably one of the toughest days of my life,” Hilliard said after Saturday’s 38-7 win over Wisconsin. “I didn’t know if I was going to come back for my fifth (year), or even if it was possible to come back for the season. But me and (Adam Stewart), the head trainer here, kind of sat down and orchestrated a plan so I could come back.”

    Against Wisconsin on Saturday, Hilliard achieved another milestone, as he earned a spot in the starting lineup for the first time this season and the second time in his Ohio State career.

    For Hilliard, a five-star recruit in the class of 2015 who has been plagued by injuries throughout his collegiate career, that was special.

    “Just being out there, being able to make some plays, it means so much,” Hilliard said.

    Hilliard’s opportunity to start came as a result of Ohio State’s base defense for Saturday’s game, as the Buckeyes primarily lined up in a 4-4-3 alignment – four defensive linemen, four linebackers and only three defensive backs (two cornerbacks, one safety) – with Hilliard lining up at outside linebacker opposite Pete Werner, with Malik Harrison at one inside linebacker spot and a rotation of Tuf Borland and Baron Browning at the other.

    Slot cornerback Shaun Wade, who has played as much as outside cornerbacks Jeff Okudah and Damon Arnette in most games this season, only played situationally in Saturday’s game as a result.

    Ohio State co-defensive coordinator Jeff Hafley said the Buckeyes went with that alignment in order to match up with Wisconsin’s offensive formations, in which the Badgers often had two backs or two tight ends in the game and only two wide receivers.

    “I’ve kind of told you guys all along, without really giving things away, based on what personnel groups they have, we have different packages,” Hafley said after the game. “We figured this game would be kind of like an inside run drill. So we wanted the backers to defend the run and the DB's to do the pass.”

    [​IMG]
    Ohio State's four-linebacker base defense gave Justin Hilliard the chance to start and play regularly against Wisconsin on Saturday.

    Hilliard made only one tackle in Saturday’s game, but it was a big one, as he chased down Wisconsin running back Jonathan Taylor for a 6-yard loss on 2nd-and-10, setting up a drive-ending sack by Chase Young one play later.

    Hafley was among those who praised Hilliard’s performance after the game.

    “You look at a guy who came back from an Achilles injury as fast as he did, kind of waited his time – because we haven’t had to use this package yet – waited his time and able to get in the game and play as well as he did with as many snaps, it’s a credit to him and for the guys getting ready to play,” Hafley said. “I’m so proud and happy for him, because he really deserves that.”
     
  12. OSUBasketballJunkie

    OSUBasketballJunkie Proud to be a Buckeye Staff Member

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  13. OSUBasketballJunkie

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  14. OSUBasketballJunkie

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  15. Beanie Ginn

    Beanie Ginn Active Member

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    What could have been!
     
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  16. wesbranscum

    wesbranscum Buckeye Extremist

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    I feel like this kid signed at OSU 15 years ago, glad things are finally starting to go his way
     
  17. OSUBasketballJunkie

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  19. OSUBasketballJunkie

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