Today could prove to be a monumental day for Urban Meyer, Mark Pantoni, and the Ohio State recruiting braintrust. Five-star prospects Justin Hilliard and Jashon Cornell will both announce their commitments live on the stream provided this morning at 10 a.m. ET.
The two prized prospects will each announce their decisions separately from their respective high schools, but will make their decisions consecutively. The commonalities between both prospects from a favorite schools perspective appear at face value to be OSU and Notre Dame, and there seems to be a strong chance they both announce to attend the same school.
In fact, Cornell told our Miles Joseph earlier this week, "I have a great relationship with Justin. I met him at the beginning of my sophomore year on a visit to Iowa and we've always talked about playing with each other," Cornell stated. "I think if we both go to the same school we'll have the Terrell Suggs-Ray Lewis type combo on defense. We'd just destroy things up. I think we might be going to the same school."
Let's take a closer look at what each bring to the table:
Justin Hilliard, OLB
Cincinnati, OH (St. Xavier), 6'2, 230 pounds, 247Sports Composite: ★★★★★
Top schools: Alabama, Iowa, Michigan, Notre Dame and Ohio State.
SB Nation Recruiting scouting report: Hilliard has a great combination of size, speed and athleticism. He seems somewhat close to his eventual college size, and I would not project him as someone who will pack on 30 pounds of muscle in a college strength program. He already looks like a college linebacker. His closing speed is excellent, because his first and second steps are elite for a prospect of his size. I think his overall speed is good, but perhaps not quite that of some others in the class.
The prediction: Ohio State and Notre Dame have been neck and neck and are unquestionably the two schools Hilliard knows best and is most comfortable with. While it's close, Ohio State is the pick here.
Jashon Cornell, WDE
St. Paul, MN (Cretin Derham Hall), 6'4, 260 pounds, 247Sports Composite: ★★★★
Top schools: Alabama, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Ohio State and Penn State .
SB Nation Recruiting scouting report: Cornell is an extremely strong prospect. And the competition he plays is not very impressive. Given that, he is easily able to overwhelm opposing blockers at the point of attack with his strength, tossing them aside.
But strength is not Cornell's only attribute. He also shows solid burst and get-off at times relative to his size, uncoiling out of his stance and playing low. Testing numbers confirm his explosion as he has consistently posted very good vertical leaps relative to his size.
The pick: Cornell was pegged to Michigan State for some time, but the Buckeyes came on strong late. A late unofficial visit to OSU's Central Ohio campus might just have swung things in Ohio State's favor for good. Notre Dame could be the choice here, but we're going Buckeyes, too.