Reporting by Diane Roberts, 9 Sports
POTOMAC, Md. (WUSA) — Bullis head football coach Pat Cilento loves talking about big plays, but as the school’s academic coach, he says the classroom is just as important as the gridiron.
“Football is only a certain amount of years, even if you look at the guys in the NFL , it’s only a certain amount of years, so you’ve got to fall back on your education. That’s the most important aspect of it,” said Cilento.
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At least 23 student-athletes he’s coached over the years have gone on to college. This season, senior Jonathan “JD” Dyer is one who’s garnering a lot of college interest, not only for his ability to play both sides of the ball, but for his solid academic record.
“‘Right now my top schools are Harvard, Columbia and Penn, but I’ve got interest from Princeton, Dartmouth, as well as Holy Cross, Georgetown [and] other Patriot League schools,” said Dyer.
As Dyer narrows down his college options, he has noticed there’s a difference between how Division I programs and Ivy League programs recruit.
“Ivy League schools they see my grades and they say wow. That’s the first thing they look at, but for the D-1 schools, they look at my size, they want to see crazy 40 numbers and things like that,” said Dyer.
The 5-foot-8, 185-pound senior touts a 3.8 GPA and has been an asset at corner and running back this season.
Dyer also belongs to the National Honor Society and is active in Bullis’ diversity and community service clubs. He was just named Potomac Youth of the Year for his success.
His ultimate goal: “Own my own engineering business as early as 25. Once I own that engineering business … get enough money so I can get into politics and hopefully become president.”