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'Go get that ring:' Former Woodinville star playing in Super Bowl LVII

Andre Dillard will be joined in Phoenix by his watch party from Woodinville, which includes his dad, Mitch, and his two high school coaches.

WOODINVILLE, Wash. — Woodinville High School loves its Falcons, but this week they are flying with a different bird.

"Every kid in that weight room right now is (an) Eagles fans," said Mike Monan, Woodinville's offensive line coach.

The Falcon green is turning Philly green thanks to a distinguished alumnus.

"On Friday, our principal and secretary came down to surprise me and they were dressed in Dillard jerseys," said Wayne Maxwell, the Woodinville head coach.

The jerseys are Andre Dillard jerseys.

Dillard is a former Woodinville student, who's now on football's biggest stage.

He's essentially the sixth man on Philadelphia's ferocious offensive line.

At 6-foot-5, 315 pounds, it's easy to envision Dillard as a former big man on campus, but Monan said that's not the Andre he remembers.

Credit: Woodinville Football
Andre Dillard (lower left) hit his growth spurt near the end of his high school career and turned it into a career in the NFL.

"No one likes a skinny Santa. I needed to get him fatter," Monan said.

Monan estimates Dillard started his varsity career at just 200 pounds.

His trick was to give him treats as a reward for trucking the defense.

"If we get 10 pancakes in a game, that's where the offensive lineman stuffs a defensive lineman, we go down to Dairy Queen and we get blizzards," Monan said. "(Andre) would get 10 alone in a game, so he would drag me down there. I would spend $80 on the kids buying blizzards for all the O-linemen. Any chance he got, he'd eat."

Credit: KING 5 Sports

Dillard was feasting both on and off the field and college coaches were starting to take notice.

"The offensive line coach at Eastern (Washington) brought their big recruit on the D-line for one-on-ones and Andre just absolutely flat-backed the kid. The offensive line coach on the spot offered Andre."

"I expected more would come, but we weren't sure," said Mitch Dilliard, Andre's dad. "Until we took that visit up to WSU."

Mitch Dillard was a Cougar walk-on in the 1980s. He said he was excited to have his son follow in his footsteps, even though their paths were extremely different.

"I could go wherever I wanted because nobody wanted me," Mitch Dilliard said. "He could go where they wanted him as a full-ride scholarship guy."

Credit: Dillard Family

The scholarship was well deserved, as Andre Dilliard was a three-year starter with Washington State, only allowed one sack his senior year in 2018, and became the school's first first-round draft pick since 2014.

"He got bigger and bigger," former head coach Mike Leach said at the time. "He's got great feet and he's just been real solid."

"I thought he was something special. And he's turning out to be something special," Matthew Dillard said.

Yet the job is not finished.

"I want him to go get that ring," Mitch Dillard said.

It's a ring that would undoubtedly ring throughout western Washington.

"He never forgets about us here at Woodinville," Monan said.

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