The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga has received a commitment from walk-on defensive back Torieaun "Torii" Hilbert from Long Beach, California.
Hilbert will have two seasons of college eligibility remaining after playing a season at Ohio Wesleyan and one at La Verne (California) — both NCAA Division III institutions.
He was once committed to Nevada-Las Vegas for football, but due to some NCAA academic requirements he was deemed ineligible to receive scholarships. He chose Ohio Wesleyan despite having basketball scholarship opportunities at Division I Texas State and Division II Biola in California.
As a freshman, he had six interceptions, eight pass breakups and 14 passes defended while adding 31 tackles for the Battling Bishops. As a sophomore at La Verne, he had 27 tackles, a sack and an interception that he returned for a touchdown, earning second-team All-Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference honors.
He's been in high demand for a while. Before settling on La Verne — whose defensive coordinator last season was current UTC inside linebackers coach Oscar Rodriguez — Hilbert considered Football Bowl Subdivision member San Jose State, Football Championship Subdivision program Weber State and Division II Dixie State.
He is the second defensive back transfer to commit to the Mocs in recent weeks and will be one of four new defensive backs on the 2018 roster. UTC added Florida International graduate transfer Andrew Brown, while Boyd-Buchanan graduate Kohl Henke and Ca'Miron Smith have signed and will be incoming freshmen.
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