Ohio State's Justin Hilliard receives impressive PFF ranking following 2020 debut
Justin Hilliard may not have had a loaded boxscore but the Ohio State senior was named the highest-performing Power 5 linebacker in the nation for his performance against Rutgers.
Pro Football Focus graded out Hilliard at an impressive 94.7, the analytics site taking into account Hilliard’s work in taking on blockers as well as his work in coverage. His impact on the game went beyond his stats, though Hilliard did have two tackles with a forced fumble and recovery in the 49-27 home win.
The grading made Hilliard the top Power 5 linebacker in the nation this past week according to PFF.
Highest-graded power-five LBs in Wk 10
1⃣ Justin Hilliard, Ohio St – 94.7
2⃣ DeMarvion Overshown, Texas – 88.7
3⃣ Amari Gainer, Florida St – 84.9
4⃣ Jalen Pitre, Baylor – 83.6
5⃣ Luke Reimer, Nebraska – 82.9 pic.twitter.com/zlI8uucsNM
— PFF College (@PFF_College) November 8, 2020
With the win, Ohio State improved to 3-0 on the season.
It was an impressive season debut for Hilliard, coming off an undisclosed injury that cost him the season opener and then a false-positive COVID-19 test that kept him out the next week at Penn State.
Also making the PFF list was Nebraska’s Luke Reimer, who returned to the field following an ankle injury. His performance placed him as the fifth-best linebacker out of the Power 5 conferences this weekend according to PFF’s grading.
Reimer had seven tackles and a sack in his first game of the season, a difficult Nebraska loss at Northwestern.