Tillman verbally commits to Stanford

By: Staff Reports
BALDWIN — Jontrey Tillman is answering the call of “Go West Young Man” as he has verbally committed to play for the Stanford Cardinal next season.

Tillman, a senior plays defensive back/running back at West St. Mary High School.

Tillman decided to commit to the Cardinals this past Friday with a call to recruiting coordinator Lance Anderson. Tillman, who plans to major in mechanical engineering, will play for Stanford’s new head football coach David Shaw during the 2012 season.

“It’s a great experience to receive an offer from Stanford,” Tillman said. “I was recruited as a defensive back but I can play on both sides of the ball at DB and receiver.”

The diminutive fireplug Tillman - who stands 5-foot-7 and weighs 180 pounds - will be spending every waking moment of Friday nights this year as the leader of the Wolfpack. Tillman has risen to leader of the Wolfpack after catching the eyes of the coaching staff as an eighth-grader.

Tillman epitomizes the student-athlete, excelling on and off the field. He has dazzled Wolfpack fans for years, at one point becoming a star in four sports. Tillman, who earned first team All-District running back and first team Best of the Teche honors last season, maintains a 4.0 grade-point-average.

“I want to play good football along with the other seniors on the team,” he said. “I, along with the rest of the senior mem-bers, want to be the leaders of the team as we enter 2-A this season.”

Tillman’s wish to lead the Wolfpack brings a sparkle to the eyes of second-year coach and athletic director Ryan Antoine.

“Jontrey is the model student athlete,” he said. “He’s the model student, who has a 4.0, a 25 on the ACT and he is one of the hardest working players who has ever stepped on the field.”

Tillman, who plans to visit Stanford University later this summer, points to his mother Paulette Tillman as the guiding force to his career.

“My mother has always pushed me to do my best,” he said.

Antoine realizes the opportunity for Tillman to sign with the likes of Stanford opens doors for scholar-athletes to step up to the next level.

“These athletes are getting the exposure because they are doing the things necessary to reach the next level,” he said. “Coach Andre Lockley was the great football coach and teacher who started the program and now, I know and these ath-letes know, they must continue the proud tradition. Jontrey is the perfect example of walking in the footsteps and con-tinuing the tradition here at West St. Mary.”

Tillman made a name for himself as a versatile all-star runningback/defensive back with the Wolfpack over the years while competing in District 6-3A.

The Wolfpack will move down to Class 2A this season and Tillman has already developed a philosophy for reaching the elite level in the state.

“As players we must continue learning to play with each other and the most important thing is continuing to develop trust in one another and the coaching staff and the rest will take care of itself.”

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