Florida Running Back Seeks Early Enrollment

High school seniors who are able to graduate early have the option of enrolling at the college of their choice for second semester. Venice, Florida, running back Danny Dillard is one of those eager to begin college early. Of course, that means missing out on second semester activities with his classmates, including winter and spring sports.

Danny Dillard has less time to decide on a college than most because he will be graduating from Venice High School in December.

"I'm graduating early, so I may decide before the season starts or maybe the middle of the season. Whenever my mind's made up."

He realizes moving away from his friends and into winter conditioning with a college football team can be an abrupt and difficult transition.

"Yes sir, but I'm ready for it."

Of course, three sport standouts like Dillard must leave behind successful high school careers in winter and spring sports to devote full time to football.

"I run track, and I played basketball last year. In basketball, we went to the district championship, and I averaged about 12-13 points a game. In track, we won the regionals.

"I did real good in track. In the 4 X 100, we placed first in the regionals but got disqualified. I pulled a hamstring, so I wasn't able to run all three of the events I usually run. I also ran the 100 and 200. My best times were 11 flat and 22.6.

"I'm gonna miss both sports next spring."

The Floridian realizes football is his future, so some things must be sacrificed for the greater good. The talented running back has a number of colleges pursuing him for football. Illinois recently offered him a scholarship.

"I knew it was coming. I had talked to them when all this started. Coach (Jeff) Brohm called me up and told me how much he liked me and stuff. But I'm real happy about it though."

With the offer, the Illini rise up Dillard's list of possibilities.

"Illinois has offered, so they're probably my top favorite right now. Also, I like Boston College, Pitt and Purdue. A lot more schools are talking to me."

Dillard knows what he wants in a college, but travel is problematic this summer.

"I really don't mind going out of state. I look for the coaching staff, the good atmosphere and the school and all-around program. I'll know it when I see it.

"I went to some junior days and football games last year. I may try to make some visits this summer. I'm not sure yet."

The 6'-2", 200 pounder has speed, as is evident from his 4.4 40 time. But power is his game.

"I have speed and great cutback ability. I'm more of a power back. That's my strength. I rushed for 1300 yards and scored 25 touchdowns, 23 by running and two receiving. We did pretty good; we finished 7-4."

It may be difficult for the future Business major to duplicate his 2010 season as he will be missing all the linemen who opened holes for him.

"We lost pretty much everyone. So we're starting a new team. Our quarterback, me at running back, all the receivers and one linebacker return. Everyone else is new. We're real young. We look okay this spring. I'm not gonna say anything yet, but we should be able to win."


Illini Inquirer Top Stories