TJ Tillery hopes to become the next Monticello High School football star to find success down Route 29 at Liberty University.
Tillery plans to play football for the Flames next season, according to an announcement released by MHS on Thursday. Mustangs head coach Jeff Woody says Tillery will walk on at Liberty as an athlete, with no set plans for his college position.
Tillery was a four-year starter for the Mustangs, and an All-Jefferson District first team selection on both sides of the ball as a senior in 2013. He was a two-time All-JD first team pick at running back, where he put up 1,599 rushing yards and 21 touchdowns last fall.
Tillery was one of more than a dozen MHS senior athletes recognized for their plans to continue their careers after graduation, including seven football players. Four of his former MHS teammates are headed to in-state ODAC programs next year: Josh Malm to Washington and Lee University; Jordan Allen to Hampden-Sydney College; and Adam Hill and Cameron Grooms both to Bridgewater College.
Quarterback James St. Hill will play at Christopher Newport University next year, while Zack Graves plans to play a post-graduate year at Fork Union Military Academy.
Other Mustangs planning to play sports in college include baseball player Sean Byrnes (Elon College); volleyball players Trystam Carr (University of Rochester) and Lyra Payne (Lynchburg College); softball player Mattie Morris (Roanoke College); lacrosse players Tyler Wagner (Hampden-Sydney) and Colleen O'Connor (St. Mary College of California); and soccer player Frankie Ahrens (Bowdoin College).