August 16, 2011
Spartans looking at 2013 in-state OL
The class of 2013 in Michigan could be one of the best in recent memory. The position that looks especially strong is the offensive line. Cameron Dillard of Canton High School is one of the prospects that not only already has a Division 1 scholarship, but is getting heavy Big Ten interest. SpartanMag.com has the details.
One of the players SpartanMag.com was able to observe this summer on the camp and combine scene was Dillard. Despite being a class of 2013 prospect, he more than held his own agsint older players and could be one of the top interior offensive line prospects in the Midwest for 2013.
What schools have offered you a scholarship so far and which ones are showing significant interest?
"Right now, Eastern Michigan has offered," Dillard said. "There are several other schools showing a great deal of interest including Michigan State, Arkansas, West Virginia, and Indiana to name a few. There are also several other schools in the Pac 12 that I feel are gaining some momentum as well."
What have you heard from Michigan State and how did camp go when you were up there. Did you get some good feedback from the Spartans staff?
"The Michigan State camp went well this summer. In fact, I was at the Michigan State's first Practice 2 weeks ago with Kodi Kieler. I had a great opportunity to follow-up with Coach Staten and Coach Roushar about the camp. Coach Staten said he didn't know what to expect out of me when I came to the camp, but he was impressed with my work ethic, my no quit attitude to finish the block, but more importantly I was coachable. Coach Staten went on to say Michigan State will be graduating six offensive players in 2013. Additionally, Coach Staten said I was considered one of the interior linemen they are looking to fill that void in 2013."
In 2013 the Spartans will lose Chris McDonald, Fou Fonoti, Ethan Ruhland, John Deyo and Blake Treadwell. In addition, the Spartans just recent lost Zach Hueter to a career ending injury. An interior player like Dillard could come in and red-shirt and then have an excellent chance to work his way into the two deeps if not challenge for a starting spot.
We asked Dillard what his current height and weight is as well as what he believes his strengths are as a player?
"Currently, I am 6-foot-3 and 285-pounds," he said "I am consistently known as a dominant run blocker. In fact, I would call myself a "Grinder." I like going out on the field and grind my opponent for 4 quarters. I think I have a wide body to take up space, but I can move in that space which makes it difficult for defensive players. One thing I wouldn't say is a strength but is slowly becoming an asset is my pass-protection skills. Our team is primarily run dominant, so I was blessed enough this off-season to work with Lomas Brown on my pass-blocking skills. Lomas helped me with my pass sets and trying to work on different angles to keep the defensive linemen away from the quarterback. Also, Lomas worked with me on my punch by showing me how to time the punch and where to strike. In the end, by combining both the run and pass blocking skills as part of my arsenal, I think I can be a complete player for any college program, including MSU in 2013. "
Do you have an early list of top schools you are interested in and do you have any family that attended any of the schools you are hearing from?
"Yes, I do have a list of top schools that I am interested in. The list is based on my unofficial visits or camps that I attended this summer. I don't have any family members that attended any of these schools, but I do have some friends. One friend who attended Michigan State is Vince Tata. He was on the 1987 team that played in the Rose Bowl. He coached me in the Recreational League within our community and has become a good friend to me and my family."
Last year Canton High School had a tremendous regular season only to be upset in the playoffs by rivals Plymouth High School. We asked Dillard wow is practice going and what are expectations for season?
"Things are going well at practice so far with our team coming together," Dillard said. "Last year was a great season for us finishing 9-0 in the regular season and winning the conference. This year like every year, our goal is winning a state championship. We have a group of guys including some veterans that can help pave the way."
Dillard will certainly be coming back up to East Lansing this fall to see Michigan State in action. SpartanMag.com will be following-up with Dillard and reporting on both his junior season and the progress of his recruitment.
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