HJ Dillard is a 6-3, 12 year old, 7th grade student at Carrollton Middle School. Dillard has always played multiple sports but as of lately he has really taken off.
At 6-3 he towers over classmates and opponents. He has a strong frame that starts with his bulky shoulders. Most kids who shoot up with height so quickly can be slow footed or clumsy, not Dillard. He is athletic, quick, and has great footwork.
Dillard possesses such a high skill level he is able to do so much in both basketball and football. Take football for instance, where he lined up all over the field on both sides of the ball. After playing defensive end a year ago he used his speed and skill set to move over to outside linebacker, cornerback, and safety. He led his defense in interceptions this season, usually locking horns with the opposing team’s best receiver.
Offense was no different, an obvious receiving threat, Dillard saw double coverage almost every game this season. He made plays lining up tight at tight-end or in spacing at wide out. Dillard also threw and ran for touchdowns playing sparingly at quarterback.
No play this season was bigger for the Cavs than in the final game when QB Greg Lawson found Dillard for a touchdown pass, Dillars used his 6-3 frame to go up over two defenders and snag the ball over top of them in the corner of the endzone to give Carrollton an 18-16 win.
Those type of plays were common this season for the Cavs. Despite being 12 year olds, Dillard was a team captain and leader on the field for a Carrollton 7th/8th team that went undefeated at 6-0. Dillard had just under 500 receiving yards to go with 8 scores this season as a receiver.
Dillard had a breakout football season, showing his potential on the gridiron. But he has already established his name as one of the top basketball players in Michigan at the middle school level.
At 6-3 Dillard uses his strong frame to be a force down low. He is crafty around the basket and takes pride rebounding the ball. His skill level allows him to step outside where he has natural wing abilities. He can handle the ball, shoot the ball, and defend on the perimeter. He is bouncy, and in the right situation he is already dunking the ball.
For any 12 year old it is all potential at this point and about preparing and practicing to turn that potential into production at the high school and collegiate levels.
Dillard is a strong student in the classroom and is also a gym rat so his work ethic has already been established and I have no doubt he will continue to develop and become a player to keep our eyes on in Michigan for both football and basketball.