The fullback/linebacker ultimately decided to take the opportunity to play at the highest level with his home state school over scholarship opportunities at lower level programs.
“I always thought I would regret it if I didn’t try going to the highest level, because I can play on it,” Lilly said. “The coaches, the atmosphere and their system persuaded me to (WVU). It’s an honor and I’m just going to give it my all to play my best for the state and my teammates.”
Lilly is listed at 6-foot-2, 230 pounds and established himself as one of the best linebackers in the state, finishing his senior year with 117 total tackles (31 tackles for a loss), four sacks, an interception and two force fumbles.
“He has a work ethic second to none and he did it the right way – on the field and through the weight room,” Beckley coach (and Troy’s father) John Lilly said. “If you have a linebacker who makes tackles, you’ve got something – he has a nose for the ball. He’s a typical coach’s son – he’s going to know what the opponent does and understand the scheme. You put the work ethic and that together, you usually have a pretty good football player.”
Among Lilly’s final few choices were WVU, Marshall and a scholarship opportunity with Concord.
“The biggest thing I felt like, as a father, is that he had to make the decision on where he wanted to go,” John Lilly said. “He settled in on four schools. But a lot of the other scholarship opportunities that he had were just too far away – he didn’t want to move that far away. One of the biggest things for him was staying close to home. When WVU gave him the opportunity, he jumped on it.”
The complete interview with both Troy and John Lilly is posted at the top of the page.