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Notre Dame Football Recruiting

Notre Dame, Freeman Excited About Brandyn Hillman Even With Position TBD

December 28, 2022

National Signing Day didn’t bring firm clarity regarding where Brandyn Hillman‍ will end up playing for Notre Dame, but it was an opportunity for the Irish coaching staff to explain why they’re excited about the 6-foot-1, 191-pounder from Portsmouth, Va.

Hillman saw his recruitment explode as soon as he let it be known he’d be willing to play positions other than quarterback in college. In a matter of days, Hillman went from a recruit with a lone scholarship offer from Norfolk State to one with offers from Notre Dame, Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, Virginia Tech, West Virginia, Vanderbilt and Boston College.

That list would continue to grow to include North Carolina, Oklahoma and USC.

Throughout the process, Hillman was consistently referred to as an athlete who could help on both sides of the ball.

Head coach Marcus Freeman wasn’t ready to say one way or the other on Signing Day.

“I'm thinking we’ll let the coordinators wrestle this one out and figure out what side of the ball he's on,” Freeman laughed. “He can make plays on the offensive side with the ball in his hands as the quarterback, wideout, the defensive side of the ball being a safety.

“He is physical, ball-hawking on defense, punishing, making plays on offense. That's one of those guys you watched the film and said, OK, he's a football player. Get him into your program and figure it out.'

Defensive coordinator Al Golden certainly sounded eager to get his hands on Hillman.

“He can play safety,” Golden said. “He’s big enough to be a Rover. What’s not to like about him? He’s a team captain.

“Anytime you can get a quarterback, you’re basically taking a player that his high school coach has already deemed him good enough to give him the keys to the car. So that high school coach and their staff’s career and success depends a lot on that quarterback. So, when you make that guy your leader and make him the face of your program, that says a lot to me.”

Golden is also impressed with Hillman’s makeup and the fact that he comes from a family where his mother and grandmother both played college basketball.

“When you look at the competitive nature of the kid and his makeup and the type of family background he has, I’m really excited about him,” said Golden.

Freeman pointed to Hillman’s length, athleticism and physicality along with the intangibles.

“He's intelligent. You say, 'That guy will make us better.'

“Where? To be determined. But that guy will make this program better.”

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