St. Xavier senior linebacker Justin Hilliard was named to the American Family Insurance All-USA Today Preseason Team on Thursday morning.
Hilliard, who is verbally committed to Ohio State, is already committed to playing in the 2015 U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio.
He is one of three Ohio players on the USA Today preseason team. Lakewood St. Edward defensive back Shaun Crawford (Notre Dame) and Hubbard running back Larry Scott (Michigan State) are the others.
Hilliard has been impressive in the preseason for the Bombers.
“I knew what he was going to do from a playing standpoint but from a leadership standpoint that’s what I was hoping to see develop and it really has,” St. X coach Steve Specht told The Enquirer recently at practice.
An Enquirer Division I all-area selection in 2013, Hilliard played in just seven games last season due to injury but is fully healthy this season. He had 76 tackles, seven tackles for a loss of 24 yards, four sacks, one interception for 47 yards, six broken up passes and one fumble recovery for 18 yards in the regular season.
St. Xavier opens the season Aug. 30 against East St. Louis (Ill.) at 3 p.m. as part of the Skyline Chili Crosstown Showdown.