Once a scrawny 245-pounder, take a moment to appreciate Cougar left tackle Andre Dillard's size this spring at Wazzu

COUGAR RECRUITING FANS loved that an in-state product from Woodinville was coming on board at Wazzu. But an unheralded offensive lineman prospect with no other Pac-12 offers who weighed just 245 pounds? That generated some consternation on the CF.C forums back in 2014. Three years later, and with half his WSU career still in front of him, take a look at Dillard now.

Dillard checked in at 6-5, 310 pounds this spring. 

That’s a massive 65 pounds more than when he arrived on the Palouse (pictured above). 

And in looking at Dillard this spring, it’s good weight.  Even at 310 pounds, he's still the favorite to win a sprint race among the Cougar o-linemen.

Dillard coming out of Woodinville High was a 2-star prospect on, as well as the other recruiting services. No other Pac-12 school gave Dillard much of a look, let alone an offer. His only other rides were from Eastern, Idaho and Portland State. 

But Mike Leach covets athletic offensive linemen who have good feet and wide, rangy frames. The weight and bulk, that often tends to come after they get into the Wazzu program.  And Leach has about as much fondness for star rankings, and what other schools are recruiting a guy, as he does for media questions after a loss.

After redshirting as a true freshman, Dillard in Year Two at Wazzu came off the bench as a 270-pounder in the second half to help power WSU’s upset win over UCLA.

He hasn’t left the starting lineup since. 

This past year, his first full season as a starter, Dillard was named second-team All-Pac-12 at tackle by Pro Football Focus, with the Cougar offensive line ranked No. 2 among the Power 5 in pass blocking efficiency (Cougar right tackle Cole Madison was named a first-team tackle by PFF).

We don’t know what Dillard’s career will look like in the end.  But it’s already clear that Leach, o-line coach Clay McGuire, the WSU coaches and recruiting coordinator Dave Emerick nailed it with their projection on Dillard, and not only in terms of physical growth but also in development.

And did we mention Dillard, with 16 starts under his belt, is still only at the halfway point of his collegiate career?

RELATED: LT Andre Dillard a key chess move in win over Bruins

Dillard’s dad, Mitch, was an offensive lineman for the Cougars in the late 1980’s.

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