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Haley makes pledge to Maryville college
Dillon Haley2.jpg
Photo provided Dillon Haley was offered a spot on the Maryville College football team Friday. Haley was an all-region performer for the Pioneers this fall.
Dillon Haley.jpg
Dillon Haley was a devastating blocker for the Pioneers this season.

There are few places Dillon Haley feels more at home than in the trenches. The Pioneer lineman relishes contact and is willing to take the pain to dish out even more. 

He signed up for at least four more years of war at the line of scrimmage last week.

The senior offensive lineman made a pledge to attend Maryville College, where he’ll be settling into his cozy spot upfront.

“All the Maryville coaches are passionate about the program and players. The OL coach’s personality reminded me of coach (Matt) Turner. It is a high-tempo atmosphere and I’m excited to see where it takes me,” said Haley.

A chance encounter on Twitter led to Haley’s chance to play at the college level. Haley sent his highlight film to coach Paul Humphries, which earned him an invite to campus. He was able to see the campus and football facilities, as well as get a potential look of what it would be like to be a Scot.

When the offer came through, there was no way Haley was going to turn it down.

“It was a great message to wake up to this morning,” said Haley Friday after receiving the offer. “It has always been a dream and I’m grateful for the offer.”

Haley was a huge part of a resurgent season for the Pioneers. The senior started on both sides of the line, earning all-region honors along the way. He finished the season with 29 tackles defensively while also opening up holes for a ground game that finished with 2,050 yards rushing and 27 touchdowns.

Coach Turner only got to spend one year as Haley’s head coach, though he served as his position coach for several years. Haley is the first Pioneer under Turner’s watch to move to the next level, a proud moment for the new leader and one he hopes he experiences several more times over the next few years.

“I’m so proud of Dillon. He has a passion for football and gets to keep doing what he loves,” said Turner. “We hope this is something that happens more often with our program. There’s a lot of kids here with the ability to make it to the next level. 

“I’ve told our guys since Day 1 that if they work hard for me, I’ll work hard for them. We’re going to do everything we can to continue their dreams of playing football.”

Haley will enroll this fall and is expected to compete for playing time on the offensive line.