Nick Dillon stepped right in as a freshman last season for Lincolnshire Stevenson's varsity and recorded 60 tackles and seven sacks, quickly establishing himself as force to be reckoned with.
"When playing varsity, it was absolutely a great difference in size, speed and athleticism than when I was playing against freshmen," Dillon said. "Though I had been used to it because 8th grade year was the only year I couldn't play up against talent, it came quick, but I was mentally prepared for it and that made it a lot easier."
What's scary for opposing offenses is that the 6'2, 245-lb Dillon is going to be even better this year, and he has his sights set high.
"This year I feel a lot more comfortable going into the year. Playing as a freshman, I hadn't gotten a chance to go to a high school weight room to lift and this year, I feel much more prepared for the season. My goals this year are to win the conference championship and the state title and following that, receive my first BCS offer and stay on the honor roll at Stevenson High School."
While it's early and offers have not come just yet, Dillon has received early attention from a number of big time schools.
Dillon trains alongside many of Illinois' top prospects at Core6, and over the summer, he did also have a chance to do a local camp, which he found helpful as well.
"This summer I went to The University of Illinois summer camp. This camp was successful and I received a lot of tips and pointers that can help me in my future to become a better athlete and person. "
This fall, Dillon hopes to head back to Illinois for a game, and also plans to visit Ohio State. Along with those schools, there are a couple of programs that he hopes to hear more from.
"Growing up, I loved LSU. I would always run over to the television when they were playing and also Illinois and Michigan were my favorite schools as well."