Two University of Virginia rising freshman, offensive lineman Corey Lillard , will represent the United States in the inaugural International Federation of American Football Junior World Championship this summer in Canton, Ohio. Both prospects are excited about the opportunity on several fronts.
“It is the opportunity of a lifetime to play for the USA and also represent the University of Virginia,” Aboushi said. “I’m excited. “I’m expecting it to be a great experience with great competition. It’s a huge honor. There will be a great coaching staff there. Conditioning-wise, it’ll help me get in shape for UVa. It’ll definitely be great for helping me get ready for UVa.”
Lillard said, “It’s huge. I couldn’t ask for anything more. I get show other people around the world what the USA is all about. I believe it will help me for college. I’m training for college now, doing running and stuff. You can’t get truly physically fit without playing the game, so I think playing will help me in my training.”
Neither Aboushi nor Lillard knew what reaction the Virginia coaches would have, but head coach Al Groh has given an enthusiastic thumbs up.
“They were great,” Aboushi said of the reaction of the Virginia coaches. “At first, I didn’t know if they’d let me play because the competition is so close to camp. I called Coach Borbely and he said it wasn’t a problem. The coaches are definitely excited. Coach Groh is hyped and excited about two future teammates playing for the USA. Coach Borbely is excited for me. The only thing he told me was don’t get hurt. He was a real good sport about it.”
Aboushi, rated a 4-star prospect out of Xaverian High School (Brooklyn, N.Y.), and Lillard, a standout prospect out of Liberty High School (Bealeton, VA), are two members of a 45-player roster. Other notable selections include Virginia Tech recruits Tariq Edwards and David Wilson and state of Virginia standouts Brandon Sharpe (Syracuse) and Shamarko Thomas (Syracuse). Two Ohio State recruits are on the roster as well.
The event begins June 27th and lasts through July 5th. Aboushi and Lillard report to UVa on July 6th.
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