The debate has already began – who is the top player in the state of Oklahoma for the Class of 2005. Some believe that it’s Edmond (Okla.) Santa Fe defensive back Reggie Smith. But Jenks, Okla., coach Allan Trimble knows he has a stud on his hands. That studs name is Phillip Dillard.
Dillard is a 6-foot-2, 230-pound heat-seeking missile of an inside linebacker. Trimble calls him the best linebacker in the entire Midlands Region – yes he believes that he’s better than anybody else in the state of Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas, Missouri and elsewhere.
Trimble also compares him favorably to Rocky Calmus when he was coming out of high school.
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“We had Rocky here at Jenks, and it’s very possible that Phillip is better now as a junior than Rocky was as a senior,” Trimble said. “It should be fun to watch him play this year. He’s a tremendous player that has solid speed, is powerful and very physical. He loves to hit.
“He led us to a state championship this year and truly we were a year ahead of schedule with that. There is not a better linebacker in our region. He was voted player of the year and all-state as a junior, which is unheard of in Oklahoma.”
Dillard still doesn’t know what all the fuss is about. He just goes out there and plays hard every single down and let his natural physical ability take over.
“I just read my keys and listen to my coaches,” Dillard, who has a 320-pound bench-press, 470-pound squat and a 4.61-second time in the 40-yard dash, said. “But something funny happens when the play starts. I just rely on my instincts and react to the plays. I guess I just end up where ever the ball is at.”
But being a star football player is nothing new for Dillard. He said he’s been working hard to get to this point all the way back since the fifth grade.
“I wasn’t very good at first and my father wanted me to come out and try it out,” Dillard said. “I was a bit reluctant at first, but the more I got to play, the more I realized that it’s a lot of fun. I moved from North Tulsa down here to Jenks and it’s just gotten better and better each and every day. It’s awesome to play for a coach like coach Trimble and to play on a team like we have here at Jenks.”
Dillard, though, blushes at the thought that he could be the next Rocky Calmus.
“It’s cool to know that people think I’m a lot like him,” Dillard said. “I’ve watched a lot of his films and he was amazing. He was so good in high school and then I watched him really closely when he was at OU. I’ve always wanted to grow up and be like him on the football field. But all of this attention puts pressure on me and I’m a little nervous.
“I want to handle this the right way and go out there and work hard to make sure the little things are done right.”
Dillard mentions he wants to stay close to home when it comes to his college future, teams like Oklahoma, Kansas State, Oklahoma State, Tulsa and Texas A&M flow from his mouth. But in the end, it might be tough to pry him away from the Oklahoma Sooners.
“I’m an OU fan all the way,” Dillard said. “They work hard like we do here at Jenks, and they win a lot of games like we do at Jenks. If they were to offer me a scholarship, it might be really hard for me to turn it down.”
And don’t be surprised if that offer does come – and potentially soon – because as Trimble said the line is going to be long when it comes to teams recruiting this Rivals100 candidate.