Hillary's Stock Is On The Rise

Strom Thurmond (Johnston, SC) dual-threat quarterback Aramis Hillary is one of the most exciting signal callers in the Palmetto State's class of 2008, and the versatile playmaker has seen his stock rise in recent weeks. Hillary recently picked up his first major Division I offer, and several other schools are now showing strong interest.

The 6'3, 212 pound Hillary, who runs a 4.68 second forty yard dash, recently picked up his first Division I offer from the Mississippi State Bulldogs. He has also been contacted within the last week by major programs like Tennessee, South Carolina, Virginia Tech, Virginia, Maryland, Georgia, and Clemson.

The reason for the sudden increase in interest is because Hillary was unable to fill a stack of college film requests until he was finished with his basketball season. As a result, his junior film did not go out until the last week of March, but the secret is now out on this dynamic Palmetto State prospect.

The home state Gamecocks have recently turned up the intensity in recruiting Hillary, whose uncle Ira Hillary played wide receiver for USC in the 1980's and went on to have a successful NFL career. According to Hillary, who attended the Gamecocks spring practice last Friday, he has always dreamed of wearing the garnet and black.

"South Carolina has always been my dream school because my uncle played there, and I have followed them ever since. It would be a dream to play for Coach Spurrier, who may be the best in the business in developing QB's," said Hillary. "It'd be real exciting to go up there and play. I'd have a family legacy up there, and it'd be close to home."

Hillary, who passed for 1,762 yards and 11 touchdowns and ran for another 752 yards and 10 scores as a junior last season, plans to be on hand for South Carolina's annual Garnet and Black Game this weekend, and he discussed what he is looking forward to about that visit.

"I'm really looking forward to it. I just got off the phone with Coach (Robert) Gillespie, and he was saying he was excited to get a chance to see me again and hang out with me a little bit more. I'm just going to go up there and have a good time and see if I can be myself around those guys. I want to see if I really feel at home. The last time I went up there it was great. It really had a home feel to it, and it was just a good experience for me."

The standout quarterback also commented on the Mississippi State Bulldogs, who after offering him are now atop his list.

"I was really, really excited to get my first Division I offer from Mississippi State. I woke up my whole family. It was one of the most exciting times of my life, and I'm really thankful for them offering me… They have definitely moved to the top of my list. My mom just wants to go over there and meet all the coaches before we make any final decisions. We're going to try to do that as soon as school gets out in June," said Hillary. "For me, it's a chance to get away from home, but not too far away. They play in the SEC. And Coach Croom is one of the most respected coaches in the profession, and I believe in his vision for the program."

Hillary said his coach, Lee Sawyer, was also contacted last week by Clemson offensive coordinator Rob Spence, and he shared his thoughts on the in-state Tigers.

"Clemson liked my tape and wanted to know if I was sincerely interested in them because they have Will Korn and a couple of QB commitments for next year. Of course, I am interested in Clemson."

Hillary, who said he thinks Tennessee, Auburn, South Carolina, Virginia Tech, and East Carolina may also be close to offering him, knows what he is looking for in a school.

"It doesn't really matter about staying close to home. I just want to go to a good program that has good academics and good facilities. I want to go to a place with good living surroundings and good coaches that are easy to be around and make you feel like you're a part of a family. That's basically what I'm looking for."

As far as a timeframe for a decision, Hillary plans to wait to see what all of his options are.

"I'm going to wait to see who all offers, and I'm going to take my visits with my mother and my father just to see what my options are."

When asked to describe what sets him apart as a player on the football field, Hillary replied that he just knows how to win.

"I don't really like to critique myself, but my coaches say the good thing about me is my will to win. I just help my team win, and I'm a leader out there on the field and in the weight room. I do what it takes to win, and I'm a good leader."

Hillary, who has already met college entrance requirements with a 2.51 core GPA (3.3 overall) and a 900 on his first SAT attempt, also claims offers from Appalachian State and Presbyterian.

Stay tuned to GamecockAnthem.com for all the latest on this Palmetto State signal caller.

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