May 4, 2008

RB, Hilliard talks about Army offer

It remains obvious that Army Head Coach Stan Brock continues to raise the bar when it comes to the level of recruiting talent for the Black Knights. It will not be unusual to see Brock and staff make the sincere efforts to pull in talent from across the country, whereby they may end up trying to beat out the likes of a many BCS schools.

What is also clear is that Black Knights have been search for that one (or two) running back that could offer the type of fire power that defenses must consistently prepare for. Running back Dalton Hilliard out Honolulu (HI) Punahou is such a player and someone who could pay immediate dividends to the Black Knights' offense.

With multiple offers (Arizona, Colorado, Nebraska, Notre Dame Stanford UNLV and Utah) already, the swift running back was pleasantly surprised & honored when he was presented with the Army offer (last week) and responded immediately. "When I received my letter (offer), I called Coach Brock up right after I received the letter and we had a good talk," Hilliard said. "It was short conversation because I was in school, but I wanted to make sure that I reached out to him and to thank him for the offer."

Presently, there are no teams that rank ahead of the other on Hilliard's list of schools. "No sir, I just want to make sure that I explore all my options and I'm keeping it open," says Hilliard. "There are a couple of teams (UCLA, California & Oregon) that I'm still interested in and waiting to hear from and take some unofficial visits there."

And like another Army recruit, Nygee Carmichael, Hilliard has a personal connection to the Armed Forces, where his Dad is currently a Major in the Marine Corp.

When it comes to selecting a college, is it East or West Coast? "I don't have a preference there, because I'm a military child, been everywhere and lived in seven different places," shares Hilliard. "It's easier for me to understand the make-up of West Point because I have been through a lot with the military and I understand the commitment …. My dad was surprised with the offer from Army, but something I am definitely considering."

Hilliard's goal this season is to win the state champion and is working hard as he prepares for his senior season. "There's a trainer that comes to the high school and is working with me and my teammate Manti Te'o (5 star linebacker)," says Hilliard. "I'm about 190 pounds now and I'm still running my 4.49 forty (USC camp last summer). Along with an impressive forty time, Hilliard also can add a 35.5 inch vertical to his resume.

With 1,700 all purpose yards last season, where he played both running back & the slot position, along with 15 touchdowns, Hilliard will be playing his customary offensive roles. However, look for this talented recruit to play some wide receiver, as well as safety on defense.

When asked what player(s) best describe his style of running, Hilliard pointed to two of the best coming out of college football the over the past 3 years. "I'm mostly like Reggie Bush and Darren McFadden," says Hilliard. "I love to make guys miss, that is what I pride myself on … never getting tackled on the first hit. But also like to make sure I finish the run and ploy through guys at the end of it."

It is clear why Hilliard has caught the attention of recruiters throughout the country.

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