Two outstanding high school prospects will join Ohio State's football team in the fall as linebacker Justin Hilliard and defensive end Jashon Cornell have committed to the Buckeyes.
Hilliard, a graduate of Cincinnati's St. Xavier High School, and Cornell, who attended St. Paul in Cretin-Derham Hall, MN, made their intent public within minutes of one another during webcasts at their schools produced by ESPN. Hilliard indicated that choosing Ohio State was easy because he wanted to remain in his home state and has always been an Ohio State fan.
Cornell also said his choice was easy, citing his relationship with defensive line coach Larry Johnson and several other reasons for selecting the Buckeyes.
The commitments by Hilliard and Cornell are major as OSU appeared to have a weak 2015 recruiting class in the first months of commitments by high school seniors, With their addition, however, the two high school defensive stars are now the highest rated players of the 12 incoming freshmen.
Rivals.com ranks Hilliard first nationally among inside linebackers, and second by 247sports among outside linebackers. Cornell is ranked sixth by Rivals.com among strong side defensive ends, and third for weak side by 247sports.
Bill Kurelic, veteran analyst for Bucknuts, indicated that the presence of Hilliard and Cornell will make a huge difference, not only in national rankings for Ohio State, but also for the Buckeye defense. Kurelic added that players of the caliber of Justin Hilliard and Jashon Cornell are essential for beating SEC teams and for contending for the national championship.
Justin Hilliard Junior Highlights
2020 NFL Draft
Jashon Cornell was drafted in the 7th round of the 2020 NFL Draft, 235th pick overall, by the Detroit Lions.