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The Cardinal Countdown: 59 Days Until Kickoff

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NCAA Football: North Carolina State at Louisville Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

#59 Caleb Tillman

Class: RS Sophomore

Ht/Wt: 6-3/282

Position: Defensive Line

Hometown: Dothan, AL

Twitter: N/A

Thoughts: After taking a redshirt in 2016 I called for Caleb to get some limited run last year up front in a senior heavy line and then position himself to compete for a starters spot in 2018. Check and ….half-check??? Tillman got into four games last year filling in up front against Murray State, NC State, Boston College, and the school he had previously committed to in Mississippi State. Tillman had a good spring from everything I read but never really jumped ahead of the upperclassman to get his name in the mix this summer as a threat to be a starter. Everything I’ve seen from the staff in regards to Tillman has been positive but I’m thinking this may be another “transition year” of sorts for Caleb, looking to expand his role up front and become a more consistent contributor. I’d love to see Caleb get at least a little PT every game this year and take advantage of any opportunity he might get due to injuries or score differentials early this season.

I spoke about his speed and quickness last year, also noting that adding some weight to his frame would certainly help with him potentially seeing the field more. After adding around 8 pounds his redshirt season Tillman “officially” only moved up to 282lb from 280lb last season. Looking at some of the other interior players you can see they float around that 290-300lb range, albeit they are typically an inch or two taller than Tillman. Size alone doesn’t create good players, but if Tillman can get to 285-290 and keep that speed he will be a problem up front for sure. We all know GG, Amonte Caban, McCrae, and FamU will be looked at to help carry the load this season, but there are three or four underclassmen who could slide into that secondary role and position themselves to be big time players in 2019. Tillman absolutely falls into that group and I think we see by the end of this season just how impactful he can be.

Sweet Tweet: Caleb used to have a twitter account but it appears it has been deactivated. If only there was something else going on today that I could talk about….

Happy 4th of July to everyone. Be safe out there kids, and if you don’t enjoy crying in front of your friends and family maybe sneak into a closet before smashing play on this one…