Recruit Profile: James Dillard

Linebacker James Dillard (6-2, 220, 4.60) of Monsignor Pace High School became Tulane's nineteenth commitment. Head Coach Joe Zaccheo confirmed Dillard's commitment, "Tulane got him."

"They (Tulane's coaches) have no idea what they are getting," said Zaccheo. "He's all upside. He's big, strong, fast, and intelligent. He's always getting to the ball. He's a great kid, from a good family. He has great character."

"We only had him one year. He played defensive tackle and defensive end at his other school and one day in practice we ran out of linebackers, so we put him there. Our offense couldn't get anything done. He was blowing everything up!" Zaccheo continued, "Our defensive coordinator is a hard-nosed guy. He doesn't heap out a lot of praise, but he kept coming in after practice telling me about what he (Dillard) had done. James was like a sponge. You show him something one time and he's got it."

When asked about Dillard's vitals (40-time, bench press, squat, power clean), Zaccheo said, "He run's about a 4.59, 4.58-4.6. Worst case 4.62. Our strength coach isn't here, but the school he came from didn't stress their weight program like we do. We're lifting at 6:00 a.m. every morning. The thing is, we've got kids all over the country; Miami, you know what I mean, and there's none better: athleticism, smarts, football knowledge, or character. If we would have had him three years, he would have been a phenom."

When asked about Dillard's academic status, Zaccheo said, "He strong (academically). He's about a 3.2-3.4 student. He made a 960 on his first attempt (on the SAT)."

Coach Zaccheo told TI that Dillard was also recruited by Duke, East Carolina, and Florida Atlantic. Zaccheo added, "FAU tried to get on him late. Coach Schnellenberger was calling here."

Dillard transferred to Monsignor Pace from MacArthur High School in Hollywood, Florida prior to his senior year. In one season at Pace, Dillard recorded 85 tackles and 3 sacks despite missing 5 games with injury. He was named Class 3A 3rd Team All-State and 1st Team All-Dade County.

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