After yet another great game, it’s finally Jerry Tillery’s turn to be my Notre Dame football Defensive Player of the Week.
Jerry Tillery has arguably been the best player on the Notre Dame football defense this season. Sometimes overshadowed by the likes of Drue Tranquill and Te’von Coney, Tillery has been vital to the Irish in 2018.
The 6-7, 305-pound monster has clogged up running lanes and put serious pressure on quarterbacks during his entire Notre Dame career, and especially this season. Tillery has already racked up seven tackles (four solo), three sacks and two forced fumbles. Talk about starting the season off on the right foot.
Against Vandy, Tillery truly had himself a game. He notched two solo tackles (both tackles for loss), a sack and a forced fumble.
Coming into this season, Tillery was named to three preseason watch lists including, the Bednarik Award and Nagurski Trophy. If Tillery continues to play this well, you can consider him a shoo-in to be at least a finalist for each of those trophies. Also, based on information from NFL scouts I follow, Tillery definitely has the potential to be a first or second round draft pick at this rate.
The scary part is, Tillery still has room to improve — a lot of room. With a body like his, he has all the potential in the world to become the best defensive lineman in recent Notre Dame history — with the chance to make a splash in the NFL.
Tillery would love to follow in the footsteps of the most recent big-time Notre Dame defensive line man, Stephon Tuitt. Tuitt has had a very successful NFL career with the Pittsburgh Steelers, after being drafted in the 2nd round of the 2014 NFL Draft.