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April 6, 2007
Strom Thurmond QB Aramis Hillary, who is one of the state's hottest prospects, attended USC practices on Friday. The Gamecocks have recently turned up the intensity in recruiting Hillary, who's uncle Ira Hillary played WR for USC in the late 1980s and later for seven years in the NFL, including with the Bengals in Super Bowl XXIII.
"South Carolina has always been my dream school because my uncle (Ira Hillary) 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 QBs."
Hillary said his coach was also contacted last week by Clemson offensive coordinator Rob Spence: "Clemson liked my tape and wanted to know if I was sincerely interested them because they have Will Korn and a couple of QB commitments for next year. Of course, I am interested in Clemson.
"I saw Will Korn play against Aiken when he was in tenth grade. He's great, one of best high school quarterbacks to ever come through South Carolina. I think it would be an honor to practice with him and the others. It would be great competition, and competition always brings out the best in everyone." Hillary has not visited Clemson, but may try to make it for the spring game.
Hillary or his coach have had direct contact in the last week with Tennessee (David Cutcliffe), Virginia Tech (Mike O'Cain), Virginia (Levern Belin), Maryland (John Donovan), East Carolina (Phil Petty), Mississippi State (Woody McCorvey), Georgia (Jon Fabris), USC and Clemson, among others. The reason for the sudden interest is because he was unable to fill a stack of college film requests until he was finished with basketball season. His game tapes did not go out until the last week of March.
Two weeks ago, Hillary canceled a trip to UGA for junior day and went to go see his older brother play in Appalachian State's spring game and ended up walking away with his first scholarship offer, courtesy of the two-time defending Div. I-AA national champions. He said he feels like he is close to getting offers from East Carolina, Virginia Tech and Mississippi State. Each of the schools said the love him on film, but require two things before they offer any QB: to see him throw in person and to spend time with him to assess his leadership skills.
Last year as a junior, Hillary passed for 1,762 yards and 11 TDs. He also showed exceptional speed (4.68 in the 40) for his size, rushing for 752 yards and 10 TDs. Hillary has already met college entrance requirements with a 2.51 core GPA (3.3 overall) and 900 score on his first attempt on the SAT.
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