February 18, 2012
Hokies make impression on Dillard
Big visitors came far and wide for Virginia Tech's junior day this weekend. Among them was a massive guard prospect from Michigan in 6-foot-3, 285-pound Cameron Dillard. With his first visit to campus, what'd he think?
"You know, I was very impressed with what Virginia Tech had shown me today, from the dorm rooms to all the facilities they had," he said. They had all three A's I'm looking for in a school, atmosphere, athletics and academics. That huge win is part of the atmosphere, I'll tell you that."
Dillard arrived just a tad late, but got to see the whole school.
"We got there 10 to 15 minutes late, we drove in this morning," he said. "We took a tour of all the facilities, took a tour of the campus and visited the academics. It was normal junior day stuff. We also had a Q&A with the players and asked them questions. Then, we just hung out with the coaches before going to the basketball game."
With little to go on coming in, did anything surprise him about Virginia Tech?
"Just the campus itself, I think it's a hidden jewel," he said. "Sometimes people think Virginia Tech, but you have to come check it out. Like I said, it's definitely a hidden jewel and being on campus, I was impressed with what they have."
A big part of it was his interaction not just with the coaches, but everyone there.
"I liked it," he said. "I liked the campus and I liked what I saw," he said. "But, the people around here, I believe people are what makes somewhere you go and it was definitely enjoyable down here."
Regarding people specifically, Dillard got his first real one-on-one time with his recruiter, Charley Wiles.
"You know, it was great," he said. "He's a real cool guy and very down-to-earth. He's open and upfront with you, very upbeat about the program."
What about his time with Curt Newsome?
"He kind of reminds me of my offensive line coach right now," he said. "He's pretty cool. You can tell he cares a lot about the players and he brings them to his house on Thursday nights. His wife makes them spaghetti and they watch Thursday night football. My coach does that stuff now, so that could carry over from high school to college."
How important is that fact?
"It is big," he said. "It shows family atmosphere in a program. That is where I'd be for four or five years and I want to be comfortable there. I know they'll take care of me when I'm there."
Rounding out the coaches was his time with Frank Beamer.
"He's very nice," he said. "He's very soft spoken and a down-to-earth guy. It was cool kind of meeting him after seeing him on TV.
"He did offer me and that was great. It's nice for them to believe in me. I feel blessed about that and Coach Beamer was just telling me about the direction of the program the next few years. He discussed how it is a good time for offensive linemen to come in if they are looking to play early since they are graduating so many guys. He just emphasized how it's a great place too."
The fact Tech offered on the trip was big for Dillard.
"It's very important to me and I feel very fortunate to have these opportunities," he said. "It's just a great opportunity from Tech and I have take them heavily into consideration."
Dillard noted that he has no other trips planned in the near future.
Rounding out the Tech visit, what does it mean for the Hokies now?
"I just enjoyed myself and I definitely liked what they had with the facilities, campus and it's a great opportunity," he said. "You know, right now everything is kind of level for me. I don't really have one favorite over another. I'm checking things out and looking at things. After this, I'm going to go home and sit down with my parents and discuss the pros and cons of the schools that have offered me. Once I have a gut feeling on a school, I'll know that's when I will decide. It's possible it could be this spring, but at this moment it's up in the air."
In addition to the Hokies, Dillard landed offers this week from Arizona State, Mississippi State, Cincinnati and Wyoming to put him up to 15 offers total.
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