“What he’s been through he’s like twice his age”
“You can just tell he’s different”
“He could of folded his tent a whole lot but there’s nothing that’s going to get him to stop trying to accomplish his dreams and goals”
Local kid makes good committing to the University of North Texas…..no no.
Transfer student earns scholarship despite missing entire senior football season….no. I’ll just let them tell it.
“Well Guyer High School is a local team that puts out a lot of great football teams and talent. Going over there in winter and spring when we’re first allowed to recruit is when I first heard of Kevin.”
“I was aware that Guyer had a good athletic kid over there who for some reason wasn’t playing varsity. You know, kind of had a story on him.”
“There was a one man over that had 25 offers. A lot of power conference offers. It was interesting seeing him out there at that time his foot was in a boot”
“When he came to us he was coming off of an achilles injury. He couldn’t do anything on his feet really. He had a boot on. He wasn’t in crutches but he had a pretty good limp. He couldn’t do anything from knee down. From knee up that’s all he did. He got in there and he tore it up in the weight room. You just saw his muscles developing different. We sat and talked about his prospects of going to the next level and we agreed that he probably needed a position change.”
“I said ok. I switched up my training program. I gained in the middle of the season I gained 25 pounds from 225 to almost to 250. That’s what I decided to do.”
Oh, I think we forgot to mention, Kevin Dillman was born and raised in Sweden. He moved from Sweden to California and then California to Texas to live with a family friend so he could pursue his dreams of football that weren’t financially possible at home. And then this happened.
“He had to sit out the spring because of the injury and everybody assumed he’d be playing in the fall but a ruling came out in the summer by the UIL that because of the transfer residency he wasn’t allowed to play.”
“I was angry. I’m in it for the kids. I’m in it for the right reasons. Kevin Dillman is here for the right reasons. He moved to Denton, Texas and it was beyond his control. There was nothing in his file that shouldn’t have taken care of Kevin.”
“I’ve only seen a handful of guys not play varsity football their season year (and play college football) and usually it was due to injury. They were just outstanding no-brainer guys coming out as a junior and then bad luck all the sudden they can’t play as a senior. But you kind of know what you’re going to get because they’re playing the position you’re recruiting them to play.”
“He actually played for our JV. He played quarterback/tight end. He was throwing balls, catching balls and blocking. He turned himself into a division one tight end.”
So, the kid that had dominated club football in Sweden at age 13 and had earned a scholarship from the University of Nebraska after his sophomore year in California now had to spend his senior year playing junior varsity football. And then this happened.
“He was pretty much locked into Nebraska but it’s a crazy thing with recruiting that goes all the way through February. There was a staff change there and that’s when we found out that the new staff at Nebraska had dropped him.”
“The way it went down was kind of weird. They got let go and I didn’t hear anything from them. Then a week went by and I didn’t hear anything and then two weeks. I asked Coach Walsh to contact Nebraska and when he called them they said we don’t have an offer for Kevin. He called me down in the middle of school and said this is what’s going on I called Nebraska and you don’t have a scholarship. My mind kind of went blank and I was like ‘really, some more adversity, c’mon”
“I started texting everybody I know on my phone. I’ve got this kid you might want to come check out I don’t have varsity film on him but you just need to come see him.”
“My first move once I heard that was to call a good friend of mine the offensive coordinator that was on the Nebraska staff that offered him, Tim Beck is his name. I called Tim and I said ‘your staff offered Kevin Dillman here’. He said ‘oh, the kid that was in California and moved to Texas’,’yeah that’s the guy’. He said ‘why is he available? If you can get him that’d be a great get”.
“That same day that Nebraska pulled my scholarship I was in the car with my uncle and UNT called. They sounded pretty excited so I got real happy with them being local and everything. They said they were looking to get involved and after their last game they called and wanted to offer me a full scholarship”
“I think the combination of Tim vouching for his character and what kind of kid he is and our program doing the same thing. North Texas is right down the street so they were here immediately and they took a jump on him.”
After crossing an ocean to pursue his dreams and missing his family for months at a time Kevin Dillman is one step close to his ultimate goal.
“He got knocked down by moving from California, he got told he can’t play varsity ball here, Nebraska gave him a scholarship and took it away.”
“He was obviously mature enough from an emotional standpoint to handle all that. Then to do what he did to come over here and really pursue with passion this dream that he had is a one in a million story.”
“You go over there a 5:30 in the morning at Guyer High School and that kid is in there cranking out the weights.”
“His story is just phenomenal coming from Sweden to California to here and then the year here was as hard as it could be for a kid aspiring to be a college football player and he jumped over every hurdle and he’s sitting where he wants to be.”
“I have a dream and a goal and that’s to play in the NFL. Giving up is not going to take me there I know that. It’s mainly the people I’m around my mom, dad and my brother. It’s probably the biggest support group around. The stuff my mom, dad and my brother have done for me in the past I can’t really put words to it. I just can’t. That’s what got me through it. I’m not going to say through it because I’m not there I have fulfilled my dream or goal yet. That’s what really wakes me up in the morning.”