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Big Ten rival beats out Hawkeyes for two elite football recruits

[ 0 ] July 2, 2014 |

Prize recruits Justin Hilliard and Jashon Cornell will play football together for the same Big Ten Conference team, but not for the Iowa Hawkeyes.

Urban Meyer and Ohio State landed two top recruits Wednesday. Iowa was a finalist for Justin Hilliard and Jashon Cornell. (USA TODAY Sports photo)

Urban Meyer and Ohio State landed two top recruits Wednesday. Iowa was a finalist for Justin Hilliard and Jashon Cornell. (USA TODAY Sports photo)

Hilliard, a linebacker from Cincinnati, and Cornell, a defensive end from St. Paul, Minn., both made verbal commitments to Ohio State Tuesday morning, with each announcing their choice on ESPN.com.

Hilliard picked the Buckeyes over Notre Dame, Iowa, Michigan and Alabama, while Cornell picked Ohio State over Iowa, Michigan State, Notre Dame and Penn State.

“I have decided to stay in my home state and attend the Ohio State University,’” Hilliard said.

Hawkeye fans were hopeful that Hilliard would choose to follow his older brother C.J. Hilliard, who is an incoming freshman running back at Iowa. However, the pull from the home-state Buckeyes apparently was too strong.

Cornell and Justin Hilliard reportedly decided as high school sophomores that they would play together in college. Iowa was among the first schools to offer each a scholarship.

The 6-foot-2, 225-pound Justin Hilliard is ranked as the top middle linebacker in the 2015 class by both Scout.com and Rivals.com.

The 6-2, 261-pound Cornell is ranked as the sixth best defensive end in the 2015 class by Rivals.com and as the 11th-best defensive end by Scout.com.

Verbal commitments don’t become official until a recruit signs a national letter of intent. The national signing period for football starts on the first Wednesday in February.

Cornell has indicated that he might still visit Michigan State and Penn State despite being committed to the Buckeyes.

Iowa currently has 11 players committed to its 2015 recruiting class, all of whom are high school seniors-to-be, including six from Iowa.

 

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Category: Iowa Hawkeyes Football

About Pat Harty: Columnist Pat Harty has been covering the Iowa Hawkeyes for the Press-Citizen since 1991. Originally from Des Moines, he currently writes columns and covers Hawkeye men's basketball for Hawk Central. View author profile.

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