An Interview With Cameron Dillard

Submitted by Ace on January 18th, 2012 at 11:01 AM

Canton (MI) guard Cameron Dillard is drawing national attention—along with interest from home-state schools Michigan and MSU—and has already garnered offers from Buffalo, Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, and Western Michigan. The 6'3", 280-pound junior is a member of the ESPNU 150 and recently showed his skills with the nation's best underclassmen at the Army All-American Combine. I spoke to Cameron yesterday after he worked out with the one and only Mike Barwis, and we discussed his recruitment, his junior year, and working out with a man who owns pet wolves. Here's the full transcript:

ACE: How is your recruitment going, and which schools are going after you the hardest right now?

CAMERON: My recruitment is going real well, everything's turning out to be real optimistic with a bunch of schools. I think I should have a big spring coming up. Some schools that have come on real strong and are very close to offering, I believe, are Michigan State, Michigan, Clemson, and West Virginia, as well as some other schools.

ACE: Out of the schools that have been recruiting you so far, are there any early favorites right now, or is it too soon to make that distinction?

CAMERON: No, not really. I'm kinda keeping everything level. No favorites right now, at this point.

ACE: Looking back at your junior year, how did that go for you, and how do you think you performed and improved throughout the season?

CAMERON: I thought I did real well. Considering that I worked with Mike [Barwis], I thought he made me more athletic, more explosive, able to move better on the field, and get up the field better. I also worked with Lomas Brown on pass protections, which was a blessing. I've come a long way, I believe, from last year to this year in my pass blocking. I just continue to improve on that. Actually a couple coaches asked me how many IHOPs I'd opened in Canton this season, a little joke. But yeah, I think I had a real good season. I've got to continue to work with Mike and his staff and continue to get better.

ACE: In working with Mike Barwis, how long have you been doing that, and how does it help you in terms of—I don't know how many other athletes have that kind of resource, so how does it help you to work out with a guy who was the Michigan strength coach just a couple years ago?

CAMERON: You know, it's great. I definitely can't thank my parents enough for giving me the support to let me go there and train. I think it's continued to help me—I'm becoming faster, quicker, stronger. I just think it's improved my strength and my conditioning as well. Actually, a bunch of Michigan guys are there now: Molk, Van Bergen, Watson, Koger, Mike Martin, a bunch of those guys are training with him now, getting themselves prepared for the NFL Combine. It's definitely helped me push myself and take my training to another level.

ACE: I know you're working hard over there, but do you interact at all with the Michigan guys? Do they talk to you at all, or is it mostly business?

CAMERON: I talk to them a lot, actually. I talk to Molk and Watson the most. I haven't really got to meet Koger and Mike Martin that much, but Watson and Molk are always giving me a hard time.

ACE: You also mentioned working with Lomas Brown. He's obviously a pretty legendary NFL offensive lineman. How has he helped your game?

CAMERON: He's helped me improve my pass blocking and becoming that all-around player that schools are looking for, because I'm in a run-dominant offense [at Canton].

ACE: If you had to scout yourself, what would you say are your biggest strengths as a player, and what are you continuing to work on for your senior year and the next level?

CAMERON: I'd say that my aggression on the field, my physicality, you just can't teach toughness. Also, run blocking is a big thing of mine that I believe I'm doing real well at. I'd say my weakness—which isn't really a weakness, it's becoming more my strength now—is my pass protection. I've got to keep working on that and getting better at it.

ACE: You went to the Army Combine recently. How did that go for you?

CAMERON: Good. I performed pretty well. I had a 28.5-inch vertical and a 5.25 40-yard dash. They didn't tell us our shuttle so I'll have to check online for that, and then the pass protection, like I said, working with Lomas helped me improve, so I definitely improved while I was down there. I've taken big strides from last year to this year on my pass protection.

ACE: Do you have any plans in terms of any more camps, junior days, or summer visits, do you know what schools you'd like to see before next year?

CAMERON: Not really. I'm going to junior days right now, I'll actually be at Indiana this weekend, and then I was already at Michigan State in December. Michigan hopefully I'll be able to get up there in the spring for spring ball.

ACE: You visited Michigan for the Notre Dame game. What was your impression of Michigan from your visit?

CAMERON: I thought it was great, the atmosphere there—you know, that's part of my 'three A's' for a school, the athletics, atmosphere, and academics. I think Coach Hoke and the rest of the staff have done a fantastic job this season. I've got to talk to Coach Hoke a few times while I was in San Antonio and when I was at the All-State Dream Team banquet, and he's a real down-to-earth, humble guy. I like him, and I love being able to talk to Coach Jackson, Coach Mattison, and they've been real positive to me.

ACE: You mentioned those three A's. Specifically, what are you looking for in a school, what are the factors that are going to make you commit to a school?

CAMERON: Fan base, I would say, is one. Having the support of my family. Distance isn't a big factor for me. Academics, because I'd like to study criminal justice or sports management or history, something like that, so if they're real strong in that. Then athletics, if I have a real chance at playing early, if I feel like I'm at home, and if I can see myself best in that offense.

ACE: Do you have any idea in terms of a timeline, when you'd like to wrap up your recruitment?

CAMERON: Not at this moment, not right now. I guess whenever I get that gut feeling and I know whatever school is for me, I'll know.



January 18th, 2012 at 11:18 AM ^

They all say the same things; well, what do you expect.  They're high school students getting involved in a game that's as infamous for its off-field political complexity as its rulebook.


January 18th, 2012 at 11:33 AM ^

I don't get it.  How many IHOPs has he opened?  Is he getting improper benefits from Mike Barwis?  I'm so confused!

I could go for some crepes right about now.


January 18th, 2012 at 11:36 AM ^

that Cameron Dillard will be wearing the winged helmet in Michigan Stadium in the fall of 2013. He might be standing on the sidelines as a redshirt, but he'll be there.


January 18th, 2012 at 12:01 PM ^

I wouldn't be too optimistic about him ending up at Michigan. I know he was worried about the size of the oline class from this year. 

Also, can we stop annointing Barwis a S&C god?! He's average.


January 18th, 2012 at 12:23 PM ^

Yes, definitely average. Sorry, but those guys haven't seen much different from him and he knows how to talk like he knows his stuff. Go ahead and read an exercise physiology book and you'll figure it out. Also, if you're all about being explosive and using Olympic lifts then you better know how to teach them and make sure your athletes perform them properly. He doesn't. Brandon Graham has awful technique in his pro day training video and Kevin Koger has awful technique in the latest Barwis video with him doing them.


January 18th, 2012 at 12:38 PM ^

Dude please stop.   Barwis is not a God,  he's a trainer and a pretty good one.  You make yourself look stupid by trying to tear the guy down.  He got to this level in his career by not knowing how to teach guys to lift properly? Please.  Of course guy on the internet knows it all from a book.  You are obviously a digruntled trainer that Barwis apparently wronged or your just disillusioned with the whole profession.  Either way let it go.

I would like to add that I think John Beilien is a terrible basketball coach.  Look at the way J. Morgan shoots his free throws.   Beilien and his 34 years of experieince talk a good game, but he has not idea what he's talking about.  Open a J. Wooden book on shooting fundamentals,  the guy looks nothing like it.  Turrriible.


January 18th, 2012 at 12:42 PM ^

Actually, proper Olympic lifting technique is easy to teach. I've taught middle schoolers how to properly perform the lift. There are many people in the s&c profession that feel the same way about the guy as I do.


January 18th, 2012 at 2:10 PM ^

Probably all the ones not making anywhere near the amount of money he does.

People come to him for advice throughout the sports world and pay him thousands of dollars,  but he can't teach the proper technique you teach to middle school kids?  Just think about the absurdity of that statement.