Our Diamond In The Rough section is designed to highlight skilled athletes who have the potential to play at the next level but who are flying under the radar. Today we will be highlighting Dillion Cage, Baker High’s All-State Defensive Tackle.
At 6’2” and 360lbs Dillion Cage, affectionately known as “Pickle,” is someone you notice immediately. Without question he is the strongest person on his team benching 335lbs and squatting 545lbs, but what’s impressive is the way he moves on the field using his speed and cat-like reflexes to make big plays in the backfield.
Dillion is a 3-year starter, 3-time 1st Team All-District, 1-time All-Metro Team, and a 1-time 1st Team All-State Player. During his junior season he had 56 tackles, 19 tfl, 5 ff, and 3 sacks all while maintaining a 3.4 GPA; he has also earned a 25 on the ACT. He currently has offers from University of Southern Miss, University of Akron, and University of Tulsa. We had an opportunity to sit down with Dillion to ask him a few questions about this upcoming season, his passion for the sport, and how it all began.
•You are 6’2, 360lbs. One of the first things I noticed when watching your film was how quick you were off the ball. Have you always played with the same speed or has that been something you had to train and work on over time?
I’ve always been quick since I was little. I’ve always been a fast, big kid. The weight I have lost in these last couple of months has increased my speed, quickness, and reaction time even more.
•Are there any defensive lineman in the NFL you try to model your game after or who motivate you by their style of play?
The defensive linemen I try to model my game after are Vince Wilfork and Ndamukong Suh. I model my game after them because they are big, physical, and fast like me.
•Was football your first love or was there another sport you played first?
Football has been my first love since I was 5 years old. I used to watch my older cousin play and I fell in love with the game. I’ve been playing ever since.
•What is one thing you want to accomplish during your high school career that you haven’t yet?
I want to accomplish the goal of bringing a state championship to my city!
•Has playing football ever helped you with personal problems off the field?
Football has helped me stay away from a lot of terrible things that I see everyday. Growing up where I’m from life can be hard, but it’s all about staying focused and making a way to provide for your family.
•Football isn’t for everyone. It takes a special person to play this game at a high level. Would you consider football to be harder mentally or physically?
Football is harder mentally because anybody can be fast and strong.
•I see you take school pretty seriously. You have a 3.4 GPA with a 25 on the ACT. Why is school so important to you?
School is very important to me because I want to be great and be the best at everything I do. My parents instilled the importance of education in me at an early age. Nothing is guaranteed. If something happens where I can’t play football, with an education, I can still be great in life.
•In what ways do you show your leadership on and off the field?
The way I show my leadership is by being at my best at all times.
•If someone else used one word to describe you what do you think it would be?
A word another person would use to describe me is ambitious because I’m always trying to get better.
•What can you work on to better yourself as a player and person?
I can continue to remain humble and be myself at all times and work harder at everything I do.
•What advice would you give a young athlete would wanted to play football?
Buy into the process at an early age and never give up on yourself. Remain focused through the worst of times and run your victory lap when it’s your time.