April 2, 2007

Dillard bouncing back from knee injury this spring

Phillip Dillard was ready to breakout in 2006.

After patiently waiting his turn and learning defensive coordinator Kevin Cosgrove's system as a freshman, the sophomore linebacker out of Tulsa appeared to be on the verge of having a big season.

Dillard put together a strong training camp in August and made a few big plays in NU's season opening win over Louisiana Tech. However, on a kickoff coverage play late in the first half, Dillard went down in the La Tech game with a season ending knee injury.

Dillard tore his ACL and it was the first time in his entire football career he's suffered a season-ending injury before. This spring, Dillard is back at 100 percent and his knee is in such good condition, that he no longer has to wear a protective brace.

NU head coach Bill Callahan said he's been happy with what he's seen from Dillard this spring and he expects him to push for heavy playing time this fall.

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