Hilliard has connection with Florida coach

The Gators have yet to land a linebacker in the Class of 2014, which means Florida will be looking hard at that position for the 2015 recruiting class. Among the prospects that has Florida’s attention is Justin Hilliard (6-2, 225 Cincinnati, OH St. Xavier), who was invited to visit Gainesville soon when defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin stopped by the school.

“Coach Durkin stopped by on Tuesday,” Hilliard said. “He couldn’t say much to me so he was talking to my coach about me. He told my coach some dates that I could come down to Gainesville for a visit. He also said that they need linebackers in the Class of 2015 since they didn’t take any in the Class of 2014.”

Hilliard hasn’t set plans any plans to visit Gainesville but he has circled one date on his calendar that might fit into his schedule.

“February 23rd is a date that I may visit,” Hilliard said.

Although from Ohio and never setting foot Florida’s campus, Hilliard already knows plenty about the UF football program.

“I know decent amount about Florida already,” Hilliard said. “They have a lot of history from previous teams and championships. I think they have one of the winningest programs in the last so many years or something like that.”

If and when Hilliard visits Gainesville he will be able to learn more about Florida’s defense but Durkin has already told him a few things about the defensive scheme the Gators run.

“Coach Durkin has told me a lot about Florida’s style of defense and how I could fit into the scheme,” Hilliard said. “He hasn’t really told me what position or nothing yet but we plan too. He told my coach that when I get down to Florida that we go over film and he would show me where I would play in the defense.”

Durkin has been the point guy for Hilliard early on but the Ohio native has a connection to another one of Florida’s coaches.

“Coach Durkin is my main recruiter but I have a relationship with Coach (Brian) White because he recruited my brother in college,” Hilliard said. “Coach White is a good person and someone that my family likes a lot. I know he’s a fired up guy all the time.”

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Andrew Spivey
Andrew always knew he wanted to be involved with sports in some capacity. He began by coaching high school football for six years before deciding to pursue a career in journalism. While coaching, he was a part of two state semifinal teams in the state of Alabama. Given his past coaching experience, he figured covering recruiting would be a perfect fit. He began his career as an intern for Rivals.com, covering University of Florida football recruiting. After interning with Rivals for six months, he joined the Gator Country family as a recruiting analyst. Andrew enjoys spending his free time on the golf course and watching his beloved Atlanta Braves. Follow him on Twitter at @AndrewSpiveyGC.