"I'm not an Ole Miss fan," said Dillon. "I'm a LSU fan. I'm from Brookhaven but I have family that went to Starkville and I root for Mississippi State in the [Ole Miss-Miss State] rivalry."
Dillon knew exactly who was on the Fresno State schedule and has the Ole Miss game circled on his calendar. "I will be very excited to play them," he says. "I know that rivalry, I know the [tradition]. If I play, I'll be ready to play against them."
Besides the schedule, he says the academic gameplan and good football program were some of the other reasons he chose Fresno State as well as the location.
"I got comfortable with California," added Dillon. "That's why I want to go to Fresno. It's only like two hours away. It will be easy access to my dad."
Dillon committed to the Bulldogs just hours after in-home visit with Fresno State defensive line coach Will Plemons last week. "He talked about the program, the academics, how they will help me to graduate, and make me the best player I can be."
Dillon already was scheduled to visit Fresno State officially Dec. 10-12 regardless of committing. "I came in that Friday about 4-4:30," he said. "I went straight to the academic advisor to see about my major and classes. I got to view the campus."
Fresno State defensive end Nikko Motta was his host on the trip. "It was cool, we had a good time. He was helping me saying Fresno was a good place to go to school."
Dillon also holds offers from Cal Poly and San Jose State. "I'm verbally committed to Fresno State but my options are open. I haven't visit any other schools."
And he doesn't plan to look at other schools. "My coach has told me other schools had been calling, but they haven't called me."
He says the only schools that he would slightly consider would be schools from the South. "Maybe if a school from down there started recruiting me, I would look in to it. But I really want to go [Fresno State]. Fresno is close to home. If I need something, I can get to my dad easy. I have family down there but it's not [my dad]. I would have to talk to them."
Another reason Fresno State entices him is his brother Terrell might walk-on. "Coach [Pat] Hill said he would try him as a walk-on. If he does good, he'll have a spot on the team."
Terrell Dillon is a 5'10.5, 215-pound linebacker.
The Bulldogs envision Mershad Dillon on the defensive line.
"I played nose tackle and a little bit of end," said Dillon. "Coach Plemons said he'll move me around, it depends how my body is when I get there. I want to get to camp strong and in shape.
"I feel like I would be stronger at d-end but on the inside I could use my spin."
Dillon has surprising speed for a player his size. His best time running the 100-meters is 11.2 seconds. He says his goal this track season is 11 seconds flat. "I get faster every year. I know I'm going to get faster."
His fastest forty-yard dash is 4.67, which he ran the summer before his junior season at 258 pounds.
Academically, Dillon reports a 2.35 core GPA. "I'm working on it. I need to retake some classes. I just need to get a few Ds off my transcripts." He took his SAT on Dec. 4, and he is awaiting the results.
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