football Edit

Gilliam: We Dominated

HENRICO, Va. - Though many of his class of 2021 fellow signees are already in Norman for Rivals100 defensive tackle Kelvin Gilliam the dream of returning a state title to his Highland Springs team.

The Springers had a big hurdle in their way last Friday night in the form of nearby rival Varina, who ended Highland Springs' season, and 40-game winning streak, in 2019. Their first meeting since then resulted in a 17-7 win for Highland Springs in what was an emotionaly and important victory.

"It meant a lot personally, because of the loss last year," Gilliam said. "We just wanted to avoid coming out flat, just come out with an ggressive tendency to win this game.

"Defensively I think we dominated from the defensive line, we dominated. The defensive line was there, the quarterback had to move, he made some plays but we really dominated."

That domination, led by Gilliam, fellow Sooner signee Damond Harmon, Rashaud Pernell and the rest of the talented Springers defense wasn't as easy as it seems with such a skilled roster. However, Gilliam says you have to understand when offenses are trying to take he, Harmon, and others out of the game.

"You have to look at your opponents gameplan, don’t throw it up to Damond, don’t run at Kelvin. We have to do some things to help us make plays, bring Damond on a corner blitz, that kind of stuff," he said.

And with that in mind, Gilliam has already started to think about his future in Norman and has plans for how both he and Harmon will go to work while on campus.

"I'm talking to those guys (who have enrolled), no one is saying they want to tap out, we want to go over there and dominate as we do and live our lives like we do in Virginia," he said.

For those who are already in Norman they've got a simple message for the nation's No. 7 defensive tackle.

"People just tell me I wish I had you here, working and grinding with the guys, (everyone is) just ready for us to come down," he admitted.

Some have asked whether Gilliam might be able to contribute to a talented, and experienced, defense in 2021 he says the coaching staff has had a simple message of getting to Norman as soon as possible and doing all he can to chase playing time next year.

"The coaches, they want the best for you, you can feel the love. They just want you to play the game you love," he said. "And hopefully get you on the field as soon as possible."