Ohio State commit Nic DiLillo was in action Saturday for Madison. DiLillo committed to Ohio State last month after previously committing to Clemson and Pitt. He talked candidly about the recruiting process and why Ohio State is where he wanted to be all along.
"The past few weeks have been great," DiLillo began. "I'm ecstatic to be a Buckeye. I never had the feeling of satisfaction with Clemson or Pitt. I know I made mistakes but everything is great now. Every day I wake up smiling because I know I'm going to be a Buckeye. It never fades away. In my heart I know I was born to be a Buckeye."
As the embarrassment of committing to two other schools wears off, DiLillo knows there really was only one school for him. Had Ohio State offered him early in the process there would have been no need to look anywhere else.
"If Ohio State had offered early there never would have been any other school in the picture," he admitted. "I would have committed to Ohio State immediately and that would have been it. I waited for that offer all my life and when I didn't think it would happen I had to look for a second choice. Obviously that didn't go well at all. When Jim Tressel surprised me with the offer I had to take it."
The official offer not only surprised DiLillo, he had a hard time believing it was actually authentic. He spoke of receiving his offer from Jim Tressel.
"I was at an Indians game on a Friday night with a few friends," DiLillo explained. "I got a text message saying it was Jim Tressel and he was offering me a scholarship. He said for me to give him a call after the game. I thought it was some guys playing a joke on me so I really didn't text him back all that much. When he kept texting me I thought it could actually be him. I called my mom and asked where the 614 area code is from. When she told me it was Columbus, it hit me and I started shaking and I couldn't even talk. I called him after the game and the rest is history. I talked with my parents and we set up a meeting with him in Columbus. My parents were real excited and they encouraged me to consider Ohio State seriously. I wasn't sure what I should do and I took the weekend to think it over."
DiLillo's dilemma was quickly solved when he realized just how strongly he wanted to play for Ohio State. He accepted the fact that he would have to suffer through some embarrassing times and decided he would deal with it. The lure of Ohio State was too strong to ignore.
"At first I thought there was no way I could de-commit again," DiLillo stated. "I had done it once to Clemson and I thought I cannot do this again. I knew I would look like an idiot in the public eye. I sat and really thought about it for a day and I came to the conclusion that in a month nobody would remember or care. I knew I would be going to the school that nearly every Ohio kid dreams of attending. I'm an Ohio boy and I just felt I would deal with the heat and move on. It's worked out better than I thought it would. My parents were with me all the way and so were my coaches. My girlfriend Sarah will be at Ohio State this fall and that meant a lot to me too."
DiLillo has spoken with the Ohio State coaches as well as some of his fellow Buckeye commits. He wants to become more active in helping recruit the current class the way Mike Brewster and Jake Stoneburner are doing.
"I talked with coach [John] Peterson last night," DiLillo noted. "We talked about the tight end position and the recruiting class in general. He said to call him at least once a week to stay in touch. We're building a relationship basically. He told me Jake Stoneburner will be a split end and that there will be an opportunity for me to eventually take over the tight end position. I'm planning to take my official visit for the Wisconsin game. A lot of guys will be there that weekend. I might be there before that game to visit. I'm just starting to get to know Mike Brewster and Devier Posey. They're great guys and great players. I'm ready to be part of the "Brew Crew."
DiLillo is not against the idea of red-shirting his first season to better prepare himself for Big-10 competition. He will continue to work at becoming a better player, even with a scholarship guaranteed to Ohio State.
"I need to get bigger, faster and stronger," he said. "I'm 6' 4" and 225 pounds right now. I'm working on lowering my forty time. I want to add bulk and still add speed. I want to get to the playoffs at Madison this year. It's something this senior class has worked for and we're all trying to get better. It's not all about Ohio State at all. I want to have a great year as a senior and help us win a lot of games. That's the most important thing to me right now."
Saturday was the first time I've been able to see DiLillo play football in person and I couldn't be more impressed. He's far more athletic than I thought and he has better speed than people believe. He caught a 10-yard out pass and took it 75 yards for a touchdown and also showed the ability to catch the football in traffic. He blocks exceptionally well and appears to be a leader on the field. He plays defensive end for Madison, and although he won't play there for Ohio State, he shows quickness and intensity. On one play he was blocked to his knees at the line of scrimmage, yet still got to his feet and helped make the tackle on a wide receiver that was at least 10 yards downfield. Nic DiLillo should have a fine career at Ohio State. He comes from a great family and plays in a great high school program. In short, Nic DiLillo is a football player.