Tuesday, 08 October 2019 17:00

CJ Tillman: The Official Richmond County Male Athlete of the Week Video

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CJ Tillman has been named the Official Richmond County Male Athlete of the Week presented by Moss Brothers Tire and Service. CJ Tillman has been named the Official Richmond County Male Athlete of the Week presented by Moss Brothers Tire and Service. Kyle Pillar — The Richmond Observer.

ROCKINGHAM — CJ Tillman, a junior linebacker on the football team, has been named the Week 7 Official Richmond County Male Athlete of the Week presented by Moss Brothers Tire and Service.


Each week, one male and one female student-athlete from Richmond Senior High School will be selected by his or her coach as ROSports’ Official Richmond County Athlete of the Week based on his or her performance in helping their respective team.

Tillman is coming off a career night that saw him all over the field against the Pinecrest Patriots, helping the Raiders to a 36-0 shutout win against their Moore County competition. Normally used as an outside linebacker, Tillman played both inside and outside, and was a big component in helping limit the Patriots’ offense and give Richmond its sixth-straight win of the season. This is Tillman’s first career recognition.

Athletic Profile

Age: 16

Birthday: Feb. 24, 2003 

Year: Junior

Fall Sport: Football

Position: Outside Linebacker

Years on Varsity: 2.5 Years

Height & Weight: 5-11, 210-pounds

Experience: 12 Years

“TACKLING RECORDS” WITH CJ TILLMAN

RSHS Academics: When he’s not studying game film for an upcoming game, Tillman puts forth a strong effort in the classroom. Enrolled in the Richmond Community College cluster, Tillman is taking three college-level classes this fall. He’s in American History, Criminal Justice and Spanish. At the high school, Tillman has Math 3 Honors with Mrs. Julie Howard and ends each day in Weight Training with his teammates.

“I feel like going to RCC and taking these tough classes is getting me better prepared for college,” Tillman shared. “Taking them now makes me more aware of what I need to do to be successful when I graduate.

“I really like my Criminal Justice class because we get to debate on social issues and anything related to criminal justice,” he added.

Tillman is an A/B Honor Roll student who has a 3.1 GPA. He’s a three-sport athlete who plays small forward on the basketball team and the outfield for the baseball team.

Future Plans: With still one and a half more high school football seasons to play, Tillman is shooting for the stars in hopes of playing at the next level. He said he’s had some coaches take interest in his play, but hasn’t received any official offers yet. Tillman said he would like to play at N.C. State, Appalachian State, North Carolina, or Clemson, but is leaving the door open to any school.

“I’m different,” he said. “I know my drive is stronger and that separates me from other players. I don’t focus on not having offers yet; I know God has a plan for me, and it’ll come when it comes.”

When he’s in college, Tillman plans to major in criminal justice so he can become a police officer when his days on the gridiron are over.

Athlete of the Week Stats: In Richmond’s 36-0 blowout of Pinecrest last Friday, Tillman tied the Raider program record for the most first-hit tackles in a game with 18 tackles. The previous solo leader was Ray Ellerbe (2014). Tillman lined up inside and outside and was all over the field to collect his career-high tackle count.

During the third quarter, Tillman was responsible for dragging down Pinecrest quarterback Ben Garbark on three consecutive plays. The first was a tackle for loss, one of six in the game for Tillman, on a Garbark option keeper. The next two were sacks by Tillman on the quarterback.

On top of his 18 tackles, six tackles for loss and two sacks, Tillman forced a red zone fumble with the Raiders backed up on their own two-yard line. The strip of the ball from Nicholas Marella saw it picked up by teammate Dereck Barringer and returned to the Richmond 30-yard line to keep the shutout intact.

Through six games, one and a half of which he missed due to a concussion, Tillman leads the Raiders with 39 total tackles (32 solo) and a team-best 15 tackles for loss.

Coach’s Corner: For third-year head coach Bryan Till, Tillman’s career night against the Patriots isn’t something he’ll soon forget, and thinks the junior linebacker can be even better.

“CJ's performance on Friday was one of the best I have seen on the defensive side of the ball since I started coaching,” Till shared. “I have had guys with tons of tackles before, but that usually meant the opposing offense was running all over the field.  

“For CJ to have so many plays made in the backfield, and for us to have a shutout in addition to this, was extremely impressive,” he added. “I am happy that he tied the single-game tackle record, but I think he probably will be fueled to own it himself.”  

Raider Video Chats: CJ Tillman, Official Richmond County Male Athlete of the Week

New this season is our “Raider Video Chats” segment that allows student-athletes to connect with fans and readers through video interviews. In his video, Tillman talks about his career night, how he got his nickname and participates in our “Rapid Raider Response” segment. 

Click photo for video.

 

Last modified on Tuesday, 08 October 2019 17:52
Kyle Pillar

Sports Editor. IUP communications media and journalism alumni. English teacher, Ninth Grade Academy.

Submit local sports scores to: kpillar@richmondobserver.com

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