March 12, 2011

Dillard already drawing interest



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The Columbus City League has had a nice run of talent recently. Ohio State has taken a City League player in each of the last two classes and while the 2012 class likely won't be making it three straight, the 2013 class is looking to have some high level prospects. Perhaps at the top of that list is Marion-Franklin offensive lineman Damon Dillard. The 6-foot-4, 320-pound prospect started at left tackle for the Red Devils this past season and was a first team all-district selection and special mention all-state as a sophomore.

"I did meet my expectations because I did better than I did my freshman year," said Dillard. "I just really wanted to progress and get better with my footwork and be more physical. I think I met those expectations, I really just wanted to get better at a couple of the little things that I needed to work on."

Dillard is already hearing from college programs but as his sophomore film starts to make the rounds, the interest will surely increase.

"I know that Kent State is interested and I've got letters from Notre Dame, Syracuse, Michigan State and I've got multiple camp invites," he said.

One school that Dillard is hoping to hear more from is the hometown Ohio State Buckeyes.

"I want to get (an offer from) Ohio State," Dillard said. "I like the coaching staff. I like the way the school is run and how it's built. I like the football program, the academic program, everything."

Dillard is hoping to be active on the summer camp circuit coming up and will be hoping to impress the Ohio State staff at their camp in June.

"I know for sure that I'm going to the Ohio State camp," he said. "I'm not sure which others I'll be going to. I haven't made up my mind on that yet."

Marion-Franklin high school sent Verlon Reed to Ohio State in the 2010 class and also had a pair of Division I recruits this past year as Jeremy McCoy and Devante Strickland both signed with Kent State. McCoy and Strickland have helped to mentor Dillard both on and off the field.

"They're just good people to be around," said Dillard of his teammates. "They are always giving me pointers on what to do and what not to do, what to say and what not to say, and how to present myself to recruiters and coaches and what questions to ask."

In addition to being one of Central Ohio's top prospects in the class of 2013, Dillard also excels in the classroom, carrying a 3.0 grade-point average, something that Dillard takes great pride in.

"You have to (focus on academics)," Dillard explained. "There's no exceptions, if you don't have the academic piece you won't play football at the Division I level."







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