There are a few prospects in every class that commit, and then get overshadowed by players with more “stars” or simply because they don’t play a sexy position. However, often those players that don’t stand out in a class are those that battle in the trenches making sure the star players shine.
This year, in my opinion, no prospect is less talked about than Canton, MI offensive guard/center Cameron Dillard.
According to Rivals.com, Dillard is ranked the 23rd best offensive guard in the country, and ESPN ranks Dillard as a 4-star prospect.
However, looking past the rankings, you see a player that has a serious upside and the potential to be a real star anchoring the offensive line.
At 6-foot-3, 290 pounds Dillard already has great size and moves well with his weight. His 290-pound frame already has a good deal of muscle and is not weighed down by excess fat. Dillard’s leg strength allows him to stay in his stance longer and not get sloppy, while his arm strength gives him the ability to hold off defenders. In fact, Dillard goes much further than that, he often easily pummels impending rushers and protects up to the second line of defense. If I had to pick one trait that really sticks out about Dillard – it’s physicality.
Further, Dillard has good agility and great hip movement that make him great in run protection. Dillard can quickly eat up gaps and engage defenders. Dillard doesn’t come from a very pass heavy offense, so tape is limited. From what we can see, he isn’t quite as good on pass defense, but that should improve as he gets more reps and practice time.
Also, it’s very noticeable that Dillard plays with great technique. He plays with good pad level, he moves well in his stance, his hand placement is proper and plays with a butt-out/straight-back stance that doesn’t get sloppy. He is quick off the snap and plays through the duration of the play. Dillard is also smart about his blocks and knows when to disengage a defender.
While Dillard is all of these things above, he still needs a few years. Dillard will likely redshirt his freshman season, which I believe almost all offensive linemen should do. He will beef up a bit and work on his pass protection, while likely learning how to snap the ball at the same time. Dillard played a lot of tackle in high school, so he will need to work on his pulling ability. Dillard has a high football IQ and should pick up the skill set of a guard quickly. Dillard may be under-the-radar, but it’s not because of skillset.
Cameron Dillard Senior Highlights: