A defensive back in the 2016 recruiting class, Tobias Gilliam is referred to as “Cash” by his close friends. It’s because the man is money.
Gilliam is one of the best defensive players for one of the best teams in the nation. Playing deep safety as the de facto centerfielder, he prevents big plays, while making a few of his own for an excellent defense. The Wayne High School Warriors are 7th in the Nation according to Max Preps and 14th in the USA Today Super 25.
Wayne’s defense doesn’t give up many rushing yards (11 in the last game isn’t out of the ordinary), daring QBs to throw it around Gilliam. It takes almost no time to understand why Stoops wants him at Kentucky. The Pick Six to open his highlight reel is elite athleticism at its finest. You also quickly understand why they don’t allow many rushing yards. If the rusher somehow gets into open space, he reacts so quickly and accelerates through the runner.
The quintessential quality for a deep safety is the ability to instinctually react, changing direction on a dime. Gilliam has the instincts Stoops loves in his secondary.
His season still has a few more playoff wins ahead, but sit back and enjoy the show he’s put on so far this season.
Don’t jut take it from me. Here’s what Freddie Maggard said after watching his film:
Versatile defensive back that has played field corner, man to man on slot, and safety. Cerebral in action, instinctively locates and highpoints the football. Can play a variety of positions in college. Physically developed enough to immediately compete for playing time. Immediate burst from break to point of football action. Well coached and fundamentally ahead of the game.
The Cats already have a lot of young talent in the secondary, but Stoops is building something special with his preferred position group.