Cleveland Browns: Dontrell Hilliard will do whatever it takes to succeed
Cleveland Browns running back Dontrell Hilliard has a fearless attitude and a willingness to do whatever it takes to succeed in the NFL
Undrafted out of Tulane, Dontrell Hilliard is taking advantage of every opportunity the Cleveland Browns are willing to give him. He proved that last season as he got on the field as a running back and kick returner for the Browns. He even attempted a pass during his rookie campaign — although that didn’t go so well.
Hilliard was on the field for Cleveland’s home win against the Atlanta Falcons and attempted a pass out of the wishbone formation. He threw the ball in Baker Mayfield‘s direction, but it was Damontae Kazee of Atlanta that came away with it.
Even with that failure, Hilliard is the type of player who would line back up in that same formation and try it again. According to Dan Labbe of Cleveland.com, the Tulane product has a fearlessness about him and will do whatever it takes to get the job done. And even if it’s something that he doesn’t do well, he’ll still give it his all.
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Labbe, who took an in-depth look at Hilliard’s path to the NFL, spoke to college and high school coaches who worked with Hilliard and they all raved about him. He always was a leader who showed everyone else how to get the job done.
He’s carried that trait into the NFL and has impressed coaches such as Ryan Lindley (current quarterback coach who was the running back coach last season) and Stump Mitchell (his current running back coach) who both rave about the way he goes about his business. When digging more into his background, it’s not surprising to hear the positive comments about him.
Growing up in a rough part of Baton Rouge, Hilliard turned to football to stay on the straight and narrow. He led by example for his younger siblings — who he still checks in on constantly to ensure they’re doing right and staying focused. Hilliard is also ready for life after football as he decided on Tulane for the academics, which was another area he excels.
According to the article, Hilliard learned his incredible work ethic from his parents who have spent their lives working in the food industry. He applauded the way they went to work every day and that’s something that he takes to the field with him every day.
"“If you’ve got to go clean this, it’s going to be the cleanest thing you’ve ever seen,” he said via Labbe of Cleveland.com. “That’s how we go about doing it. If I’ve got to do it, it’s going to be done right.”"
His coaches in Cleveland have continued this praise of Hilliard, especially when he stepped in as Duke Johnson missed OTAs. Hilliard was willing to fill any role necessary as he looks to make an impact in 2019.
The Browns say there’s a plan for him in 2019 and that’s probably true. Hilliard was already a contributor on special teams, but should he improve as an offensive talent as well, he could end up carving out a nice career for himself.