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Tuesday, March 26, 2013
2015 OT has big size, academic ambition

By Gary Laney

ZACHARY, La. -- Jerry Tillery stands out in a crowd.

At 6-foot-7 and 315 pounds, the 2015 offensive tackle from Shreveport, Louisiana's Evangel Christian Academy he is a massive young man, a 16-year-old who can dominate with a sheer size.

But as big as Tillery is physically, his mental ability is right there too.

Jerry Tillery
Class of 2015 offensive tackle Jerry Tillery is looking for an academic fit as well as an athletic one.
A 4.0 student at Evangel, Tillery said he has not made a "B" since eighth grade. He hopes to translate that to getting into "a great academic institution" to play football.

"The great academic institutions are something I would seriously consider, but my mind is open," he said Sunday at the NUC 5 Star Challenge Baton Rouge. "I'm looking at any school that can conform to my needs."

He certainly can conform to the needs of a lot of programs that are looking for big, rangy offensive linemen. The offensive line MVP of the NUC 5 Star Baton Rouge, the soft-spoken Tillery is a player who can play with the necessary aggressiveness on the field to dominate.

He's one of two long, talented offensive linemen in north Louisiana in the 2015 class along with Garrett Thomas, a 6-foot-6, 300 pounder from Many, another competitor at the NUC 5 Star. They are good examples of the kind of offensive line talent that comes out Louisiana's Interstate 20 corridor, coming out the year after 2014 star Cameron Robinson (West Monroe, La.), one of the nation's top players in his class.

While Tillery is awaiting his initial offers, he wants the message sent out that he's expecting his academic needs to be met in college as well.

"I want to be a doctor," he explained. "I went to a junior day a couple of weeks ago and the offensive line coach told me, 'If you want to be a doctor, go to Harvard. If you want to be an NFL superstar, come to this school.' I'm looking for a place where I could possibly do both of those things."

Tillery declined to throw the school under the bus, but did say he has attended junior days for LSU and Alabama. He said he's hoping to get to visit Notre Dame this summer, calling it his "dream school."

"I just want to go somewhere that's interested in Jerry, the person and not just Jerry, the football player," he said.