Named a third-team preseason All-American by Athlon ? is back for a fifth-year ? starting nose guard for the Irish the past season and a half ? started last five games of ?01 and 10 of 13 games in ?02 ? opened a lot of eyes last season as he made immediate impact in every game he played ? has 14 tackles for loss in his career and 60 tackles ? strong, physical defender who has dramatically improved his fitness ? named Notre Dame?s Player of the Game at the 2003 Gator Bowl ? team leader for the Irish defensive line.
AS A SENIOR: Starting nose guard for Irish in 2002 ? recorded 31 tackles, including five for loss and two sacks ? played 212:05 minutes in ?02 and made nine special teams appearance, all on field goal unit ? served as a game captain vs. Purdue and Pittsburgh ? recorded three tackles, including one sack, vs. Maryland ? blocked a 32-yard field goal attempt vs. Michigan ? broke up a pass at the line of scrimmage on a Michigan first and goal in the fourth quarter as Shane Walton intercepted the ball to clinch the game for the Irish ? also recorded two tackles, including a sack, and forced a fumble vs. Michigan ? had two tackles for a loss vs. Michigan State ? posted three tackles vs. Stanford, including one for a loss ? recorded six tackles vs. Pittsburgh, including one sack ? registered a career-high seven tackles vs. Air Force ? helped Irish defense hold Air Force, which was ranked #1 in rushing offense in the nation, to 104 yards rushing, its lowest rushing total of the season ? returned to action vs. USC recording three tackles including one tackle for a loss ? was voted the Notre Dame Player of the Game at the 2003 Gator Bowl.
AS A JUNIOR: Reserve nose guard for Irish in 2001, until assuming starting role with five games left to play after injury to Andy Wisne before the Boston College game ? finished fifth on the team with eight tackles for loss in ?01 ? recorded first career sack vs. Pittsburgh ? recorded one tackle for loss vs. West Virginia ? registered a tackle vs. USC ? made two tackles vs. Boston College ? had two tackles and broke up a pass vs. Tennessee ? recorded a career-high five tackles vs. Stanford ? recorded four tackles, including one sack, vs. Purdue.
AS A SOPHOMORE: Reserve nose guard for Irish in 2000 ? played in first career game on defense vs. Navy, notching two tackles including one for loss ? also saw time on defense vs. West Virginia and Rutgers and vs. Oregon State in 2001 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl ? made one tackle for two-yard loss vs. Oregon State.
AS A FRESHMAN: Did not see varsity action as rookie defensive lineman in ?99.
HIGH SCHOOL AND PERSONAL DATA: USA Today first-team All-America defensive lineman ? listed by Fort Worth Star-Telegram and Dallas Morning News as one of top 100 national prospects ? listed 21st nationally on Chicago Sun-Times list of top 100 players ? rated 50th on list of top 100 national prospects by The Sporting News ? rated 34th among Texas prep prospects by Austin American-Statesman ? honorable mention pick on Orlando Sentinel All-Southern team ? had 72 tackles, 11 for losses, in ?98 as senior at Lamar High School in Arlington, Texas ? won three letters in football as defensive tackle ? made 70 tackles, 20 for losses, and had eight sacks as junior ? team captain and MVP as senior ? two-time all-conference and all-city selection ? selected for Texas-California all-star game ? earned three letters in track, winning all-state honors as junior ? finished third in shot put in ?98 Texas state track meet at 58-11 ? won two letters in basketball ? attended Notre Dame summer football camp ? full name is Cedric Darnell Hilliard ? born Nov. 19, 1980 in Memphis, Tenn. ? enrolled in College of Arts and Letters majoring in sociology.