The former Washington Redskins and Atlanta Falcons player is coming to Salak.
What is your background?
At the end of my high school years, I played NCAA Division 1 (highest varsity level) and had several team opportunities, but unfortunately my school results prevented me from accessing scholarships. Within two seasons, I continued my career at Kean University where I played defensive end, linebacker and tight end. I attended Brookdale Community College where I played in the national championship and basketball finals. Despite one loss at the wire, I was 3rd in the nation in rebounds on the season, all positions combined. This allowed access to many Division 2 university scholarships and some Division 1.
Following these offers, I attended Merrimack University where I played American football and basketball. University where I held the tight end position my last two seasons. This tied me for the lead in my conference in receiving yards for a tight end last season.
I went to the All Star Senior Game, the National Bowl, and the College Grid Iron Showcase, the events that brought together the best college players. After these events, I participated in Pro Day (NFL recruiting day) with the goal of integrating into the NFL, where I was ranked 3rd in the nation at the Tight End position. After all these days, I was told that I should be selected in the 6th or 7th round of the NFL draft where NFL teams could see my potential.
Eventually, I found myself as a freshman rookie with the Washington Redskins and Atlanta Falcons.
After being in the NFL, I received several contracts to play overseas and arena football. Declining those offers, I chose to compete at the BSN National Combine, where I broke the high jump record for a tight end and hope to play again in the NFL in 2019 at the Spring League in Austin, Texas. Following these events, I planned to play in the NFL’s predecessor, the American Football League, for the “Baltimore Brigade,” but the league was dropped before Dwayne Johnson took over. I am now looking forward to the 2021 season and this new experience with the Grizzlies Catalans in France.
What do you expect from this season in the French elite?
I hope to make a big impact from day one. My main goal is to win the championship. And the community of Catalan Grizzlies deserves it.
How did you find out about Catalan Grizzlies?
Coach Augie Stevens contacted me and gave me an overview of the entire organization. Evolving into the French first division this year and trying to win the Diamond Helmet (Elite) this season, I immediately felt it was special.
Why did you choose the Catalan Grizzlies for the 2021 season?
I chose the Grizzlies because Coach Stevens read and evaluated my videos like a true professional. Many analysts and coaches overlook what players are showing in their films. They often highlight that you come from a “small university” rather than focusing on the videos and all the work done. No matter what level you play, it’s what you do on the pitch that matters. After he asked me how he planned to play on the field, I knew he was a great coach. That’s what made me sign with the Grizzlies Catalans.
One last word?
I can’t wait to join the Grizzlies, be competitive and meet all the fans and people in the community. I will do everything to win this championship that they deserve.
Augie Stevens: ‘He’s what we’re looking for’
Why did you hire Dillon Salva?
We are very excited to bring in an athlete like Dillon. He is the player we are looking for: big, strong, fast and physical. A tight end (receiver/blocker) is probably the focal point of our offense. We look forward to utilizing his talents and versatility in a variety of ways. Dillon was the best player we found during our research and we are very excited to have him join the Catalan Grizzlies. The entire team was excited when we told them.
What do you think he will bring to the team?
Dillon represents the exciting, high-quality players we want to sign with this organization. The program has progressed every year since its inception and is currently advancing to Division 1. The arrival of a player like Dillon is a continuation of this process and precisely the next step we wanted to take. I have high expectations for this program and it is a great way to make a strong first impression as I begin my era as head coach of the Catalan Grizzlies. I think it shows the team what my ambitions are for the project.
Will Dillon have an impact on the development of the club and its youth divisions?
Dillon brings a wealth of experience from his college career and time with NFL teams. He has the maturity to help us not only on the field but also in the weight room and during youth training. He can show the players what a professional product looks like. Guys like him have a teacher aura around them and help everyone improve. Having someone like him around is a unique opportunity for our junior players. For young players here, college football and the NFL seem so distant and inaccessible. Having a boy who has already played football with them makes things more real and may inspire some to pursue their passion for the game further.