After seriously debating between Ohio State and Rutgers as his two final college choices, St. Peter’s Prep standout running back Jonathan Hilliman made his decision official last week.
Hilliman is headed to Rutgers.
The speedster announced his intentions in front of his teammates after a Marauders’ workout session at the school’s practice facility downtown Jersey City.
“I felt the most comfortable there,” Hilliman said after announcing his decision by donning a Rutgers cap. “It’s an in-state school and they were the first to offer me. It also helps that there are three other teammates already there.”
Former Marauders Savon Huggins, Keith Lumpkin and Sheldon Royster are all on the Scarlet Knights’ 2013 roster.
“That all helps with the comfort level,” said Hilliman, who rushed for 1,156 yards and 12 touchdowns last season, averaging almost 11 yards per carry in the process.
Hilliman was asked what Rutgers head coach Kyle Flood’s reaction was after he informed him of his decision.
“He was ecstatic,” Hilliman said. “When I called him, I heard people in the background, cheering as well. It was pretty exciting to feel that love.”
Prep head coach Rich Hansen was also excited for his fine running back.
“Jon has gone through a lot in this process,” Hansen said. “I’m really happy that he made the best decision for him. Rutgers did a good job recruiting him and Jon did a good job of weighing all the options. It just might be a case of the further away you look, the one closest may be the best. I’m just glad it’s over. We can all focus on the important business, which is winning this season.”
Hansen has made it a point to insist that his players make one of their recruiting visits to Piscataway. Obviously, that strategy is now paying off for Flood and the Scarlet Knights.
“I think we are encumbered as New Jersey coaches to at least give Rutgers a chance to recruit our players,” Hansen said. “Rutgers did a great job with Jon and they should be happy to get him.”
Hilliman said that he liked what he saw in Flood.
“I think Coach Flood and Coach Hansen are the same type of coaches,” Hilliman said. “I’m so used to Coach Hansen now that it should be easy to play for Coach Flood.”
Hilliman was asked if he was happy that the recruiting process was now over.
“This process has been a blessing for me,” Hilliman said. “It’s been fun. It’s had its ups and downs. But I can now sleep well knowing I made this decision. I can now focus on the main goal, which is leading our team to the state championship.”…
North Bergen’s two top professional boxers, namely Jonathan Maicelo and Yordanis Ugas, were both impressive in victory last weekend at the Revel Casino in Atlantic City.
Light welterweight Maicelo improved to 20-1 as a professional, when the native of Peru stopped Alejandro Rodriguez with a 10th round knockout.
Ugas, a welterweight, improved to 15-1 with a unanimous decision over John Williams, a fighter who had only one loss in his career. Ugas won two judges’ cards by a 98-91 score and the third judge had it 98-90 in favor of the Cuban refugee.
Both fighters, trained by Hoboken’s Butch Sanchez, have bright futures in the boxing game…
St. Peter’s Prep golfer Paolo Matti shot a 72 last week to finish in a tie for third at the PBE Qualifier at Bedminster Golf Club, a tournament sponsored by the American Junior Golf Association…
On Sunday afternoon, a team from Kansui, Japan will take on the District 7 Senior Little League All-Stars at Pershing Field in Jersey City. It’s a great sign of diplomacy between the Japanese team and the locals…
In closing, prayers go out to the family of long-time St. Peter’s College equipment manager Ann Giambalvo, who passed away last week. Ann was as tough-as-nails with the athletes at SPC, but she also had a heart of gold and treated every athlete like they were her own. She was a wonderful lady who gave 20 years of her life to the athletes of SPC…
Tasty Tidbits will take a break for the next few weeks in order that the Hudson Reporter can continue with in-depth coverage of high school football previews…--Jim Hague
Jim Hague can be reached at OGSMAR@aol.com.