Friday, March 22, 2013
2015 QB Dillman is heating up in a hurry
By Erik McKinney
You might not need more than one hand to count the number of sophomore quarterbacks to receive a scholarship offer after not starting a single game at that position and throwing for fewer than 20 yards in that season. You don't need more than one finger to count how many of those quarterbacks have raked in a dozen offers before the start of spring ball. That would be La Mirada (Calif.) super-athlete Kevin Dillman.
Dillman credits the recent release of his highlight tape for the rapid increase in offers and interest this spring. He now holds offers from SEC programs Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee, as well as Pac-12 schools Arizona, Colorado, UCLA, Utah and Washington. Clemson and Florida State have offered from the ACC, and it's that offer from the Tigers -- extended as an athlete -- that shows what an intriguing prospect the sophomore really is.
Last season, Dillman was the backup quarterback to Gerry Myers, but the 6-foot-4, 205-pound Dillman might have spent less time on the bench than any backup quarterback in the country.
"I did kickoff return, punt return, kickoff, punt, field goal, field goal block, defensive end, free safety, slot receiver, quarterback and wide receiver," Dillman said.
It shows in his stat line, as Dillman completed two passes for 14 yards, rushed three times for 45 yards and a touchdown, caught 10 passes for 87 yards, recorded 20 tackles, one sack and forced a fumble, as well as returned three punts and five kickoffs, including one 97 yards for a score.
The Matadors are still a few weeks away from beginning spring ball, but Dillman is ready to put away the jack-of-all-trades label and step into his role as the starting quarterback.
"Of course there will be competition this spring, but I'm looking to be the first guy," Dillman said. "Last year was fun not playing quarterback, just being an all-around athlete. But I think it's time to develop as a quarterback."
Dillman, originally from Sweden, began playing football when he was nine years old and was immediately slotted in at quarterback. He put his name on the recruiting radar when he came to La Mirada about a week before spring ball began for his freshman season. But after five games that year, Dillman said had to return to Sweden because he wasn't a citizen. That following February, he was back at La Mirada for good. This fall, he has an opportunity to turn himself into a household name in the recruiting scene, as the Matadors are poised with some serious offensive talent with Dillman under center and ESPN Watch List prospects in tight end Tyler Luatua and wide receiver Dallis Todd.
"I love it, being in charge of the whole offense and being the leader of the team," Dillman said. "And with Dallis at 6-5 and Tui about 6-4 -- they're both big guys, so it's going to be a lot of fun."
Dillman added his 13th offer on Friday, as New Mexico State came into the picture. But the sophomore hasn't concerned himself with the recruiting process at this point and doesn't seem to be interested in starting anytime soon.
"It's fun, but we have to keep the whole team focused on our season and not get ahead of ourselves," Dillman said. "It's like coach [Mike] Moschetti says, 'Nobody is bigger than the program.' It's all fun, but it's all about La Mirada. I haven't looked into [schools] all that deeply. I'm just keeping my mind open to everything I've got. I'm happy for what I have so far."
Dillman didn't grow up watching college football, so he doesn't have a favorite team or school. But he's gotten into college football more since he's been here on a permanent basis and is looking forward to eventually beginning that stage of the process. For now, he'll be content to watch how his older teammates progress through their recruitment and hope to continue to impress coaches when they make campus stops this spring.
"Those are all great guys," Dillman said of his teammates. "I look up to them and have to learn from what they do."