San Antonio MacArthur Running Back Darik Dillard surprised a lot of people Sunday afternoon when he called Rice coaches to deliver his commitment. Among them: Head Coach David Bailiff, and his own parents.
Dillard has held a Rice offer for over 8 months, but when the time came to make his commit he wouldn't be deterred from getting it done asap.
"I waited to make sure that nothing else came along. Rice has been my first choice all along but I didn't want to make a decision without being completely sure. I got a letter from Coach Bailiff on Saturday, and my parents and I had a long talk about the pros and cons of schools I might attend. We talked about Stanford, Northwestern, Princeton, and of course Rice. With Rice there was nothing but pros."
And the timing of his commit?
"Well I was coming from school on Sunday and decided to call Coach Bailiff. I tried to get my parents at the house before I did but they weren't home. I told my sister and actually she's the one that told them I committed. They were a little disappointed I didn't let them know first but they knew Rice was where I was leaning."
Seems Coach Bailiff was just as surprised.
"Coach Bailiff said I caught him completely off guard with the news. He said he wasn't expecting a commit from me so suddenly. He was real excited, he even said he was going to do some cartwheels." (easy there coach…)
Darik is the younger brother of former Rice All-American Wide Receiver Jarett Dillard. While one would expect big brother, who now plays for the Jacksonville Jaguars, to steer his brother towards Rice - that didn't necessarily happen.
"Jarett didn't really mention it (recruiting) much. He told me to ask any questions I wanted but he really let me make my own choice. I saw him about a month ago and we didn't really discuss it. He was one of the first guys I told after I committed though. He didn't push me there but it's still an important place to him."
Though Darik plays RB at MacArthur, where he's rushed for 283 yards on 43 carries in 2 games so far this season; the 5-11 190 pounder could play several different positions at Rice including RB, WR, or even DB.
Dillard is an excellent student and plans to study Architecture at Rice. He's currently ranked #4 in his class and carries a perfect 4.00 g.p.a. He's also scored 1130 on the SAT college entrance exam.
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