This season Franklin has had a couple of bumps in their quest to get back to the State Championship game.
"My cousin (Jamie Collins) missed the last few games, and we lost two of them," added a dejected Josh Tillman. "But we got him back in on Friday against North Pike, and it was back to business. We won 38-7. Jamie just had some back spasms. He said he feels back 100%, so we should take care of business from here on out."
How did Josh fare in the game?
"I had 8 tackles and 1 pass deflection and a few QB hurries."
Tillman has been very active this season.
"Coach told me that I lead the state in sacks with 12. I have 50 tackles, 12 sacks, 4 forced fumbles, 3 recovered fumbles, 5 pass deflections, and 19 hurries."
Franklin County lost a heartbreaker to Jefferson County two weeks back, but it could have been Tillman's best game.
"Man, we lost that game in the last four seconds. They slung one in from 24 yards out and won. I don't even like thinking about that night. If Jamie were in there, it would have never came down to that. But as far as me personally, I had 10 tackles, 2 sacks, and 1 pass reception for a TD."
Josh was dominate as a junior, but he feels like he has made some improvements this season.
"I feel a lot better because I get to help out on the offensive side of the ball. They split me out at TE a lot, so they have to double down on me. Then that just opens up some lanes to our other playmakers."
Does Josh rib his cousin, Jamie Collins, to get him the ball more?
"Nah (laugh). Jamie is the boss of the offense. We just listen to what he says and do it. Now when you come over to my side of the ball, me and Bo (Tillman) are the bosses. So when Jamie comes in at DB, we tell him what to do (laugh)."
How much fun is it getting to play with two of your first cousins?
"Well, I actually have three first cousins on the team. There is another one of us that is in 10th grade, and then I have a couple of other cousins on the team too. We feed off each other. Nobody wants the other one to have a better game or practice than the other. We just compete to be the best."
Josh committed to Ole Miss early in the recruiting process and has had a chance to see a couple of their games.
"The thing about Ole Miss, even though they are rebuilding, they have had so many opportunities to win against ranked teams. They are still showing me some improvements. They just have to take the game in those games they keep losing. They are still my team though."
Although Tillman remains committed to the Rebels, several more colleges are keeping in weekly phone contact.
"LSU, Auburn, and USM are recruiting me real hard too. They all call me every week, just like Ole Miss."
When did LSU start to pick up their recruitment
"They called at the start of the season and have been calling ever since. They have been wanting me to come over there for a game. I guess Coach Henderson has heard about my performances on the field, so he picked up, recruiting wise."
Auburn offered Josh this past summer and the Tigers still have one message for him.
"They just want me to be an Auburn Tiger. They just keep telling me that they are going to wait on me all the way to the end."