97 Justin Hilliard
97 Justin Hilliard
Birth Date: Oct. 25, 1987
Height: 6-3
Weight: 285
Year: Sr.
Hometown: Pikeville, Tenn.
High School: Rhea Co.
Position: DL
Major: Business

Justin is expected to be among the defensive standouts for the Golden Eagles in his final season...returning starter at the Anchor (noseguard) spot in the defensive line...has the skills to have a huge season and could be a post-season calibre player...big, strong and smart and a leader in the defensive line...has increased his strength tremendously in the weight room and has the ability to hold up against the constant double teams to stop the run in the middle...controls the gaps up front...great quickness...will line up in the backfield in Tech's punt formation...has been a standout on the field during spring work the past two years....played defensive tackle in 2007 and moved inside for the past two years...smart player who has gained a thorough understanding of the new defensive system...an extremely versatile lineman...comes into his senior year with 65 total tackles and 13.5 career tackles-for-loss...a team leader both vocally and by example.

At TECH - (In 2009): Was among the leaders in the defensive line as a junior, topping the team in tackles-for-loss with 6.5 stops in the backfield...started in nine games and played in all 11...finished the year with 26 total tackles...had season-high five tackles at Eastern Kentucky and 1.5 TFL...had four tackles against Eastern Illinois, Tennessee State and Jacksonville State...also had 1.5 tackles-for-loss in win over Tennessee State that clinched Sgt. York Trophy.

(In 2008):
Justin ranked first among all of Tech's defensive linemen in tackles, finishing 12th overall on the squad with 32 stops...had nine solo tackles and 23 assisted stops...fifth on the team with 5.5 tackles-for-loss for 16 yards...also had one quarterback sack and blocked one kick...started all 12 games...tied his career-high with five solo tackles at FBS foe Western Michigan...had four tackles in nationally televised game at Southeast Missouri, and also posted four tackles against Jacksonville State...had 1.5 tackles-for-loss in finale against Eastern Illinois...blocked a kick at Austin Peay.

(In 2007): Justin saw action in eight games as a redshirt freshman...had five solo tackles and five assists for 10 total tackles...made three tackles-for-loss for five yards...had his best game at UT Martin with five tackles, including four solo stops.

(In 2006): Spent first year on the roster as a redshirt.

High School: A first-team all-region and first-team all-area (Chattanooga and North Georgia) selection..Justin earned four letters for coach Tim Hammontree at Rhea County High School, lining up as a defensive end and runningback...also lettered three years on the basketball team and once on the track & field team (shot put and discus).

PERSONAL: The son of Jeff and Sharon Hilliard...born October 25, 1987 in Pikeville, Tenn....full name is Justin Eric Hilliard...majoring in business.