Home is where the heart is for SMU commit Nathan Tilmon

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Speed is a trademark of modern football, and SMU commit Nathan Tilmon has plenty of it.

The Mansfield Timberview product clocked a 10.91 100-meter dash as a sophomore, and is ranked as the No. 5 safety in the Class of 2025 by TexasFootball.com. 

While he still holds offers from Arkansas, Baylor, Houston, TCU, Texas Tech, and others, he chose SMU because he wanted to stay close to home.

“Coach [Scott] Symons is my guy,” Tilmon said of SMU’s defensive coordinator. “He’s a great coach and is a big reason why I committed. We’re going to put on for the city.”

Part of putting on for the city includes SMU announcing a new $50 million expansion of Gerald H. Ford Stadium’s new Garry Weber End Zone Complex. With construction almost done, Tilmon points to seeing what the new facilities are going to look like as his favorite experience when visiting the campus.

“SMU is going to have everything in there,” Tilmon said. “Right now it’s getting built, but it’s going to be ready during the summer.”

He’s still a year away from stepping foot in those facilities, but he attributes the hard work he put in as a freshman as the reason he’s now in this position. 

He locked in on his craft and started to work with defensive back trainers. From working on his footwork and looking to how his brother got to the next level, he knew his freshman year he could play at the next level.

“I was working really hard,” Tilmon said. “I got myself right and it paid off the last two seasons.”

Paid off, it did. As a sophomore, he recorded 44 tackles, one interception, one fumble recovery, and two pass breakups. This past season he only played eight games, but he still recorded 34 tackles with six pass breakups.

While he’s made his mark on the field, he said that football has left its mark on him. It has helped him grow as a person in every way.

“Football first of all brought a lot of relationships like all of my friends,” Tilmon said. “I don’t think I would’ve met them if it wasn’t for football. It helped me grow as a man too. It brought out the competitiveness in me.”

That same competitive spirit shows on the track, but for Tilmon, it also shows at the bowling alley.

“I also love bowling,” Tilmon said. “For my birthday my family, friends and I went bowling. I go bowling a lot and I aim for at least 130 when I go.”

With just one more year left in high school, he aims to be the best he can on and off the field. He wants to be the best possible leader and doesn’t want to let anyone down by not being the best version of himself.

Taking from his own experiences, he advises younger players to start putting in the work in seventh to ninth grade. 

“My advice is to start now,” Tilmon said. “Get with trainers. I didn’t get exposed to good training until my freshman year. If I knew some of the stuff I know now, I would’ve had higher exposure.”

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