Indianapolis (Ind.) Ben Davis junior Asmar Bilal walks into the weight room looking awfully similar to a recent blue-chip linebacker from the Hoosier State.
Bilal had 106 tackles as a junior and is listed as a four-star prospect by 247Sports.
Standing in at 6-foot-3, 202-pounds, long and lean with a great frame, it’s easy to call out the similarities to current Notre Dame standout Jaylon Smith.
“I don’t know a lot about Jaylon," Ben Davis head coach Mike Kirschner began, "but watching him play in the state finals a couple times and seeing him at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, they’re similar in how they run and how they react to things, and they’re similar physically, size wise, Jaylon is tall, lean and very athletic and Asmar is too.”
College coaches are beginning to notice Bilal, who is not only a budding football prospect, but also a fantastic student, holding over a 4.0 GPA with his advanced classes factored in. Indiana, Iowa and Northwestern have already offered, and Kirschner has taken recent calls from Texas A&M, Virginia Tech and Wisconsin about potential scholarships coming in the near future.
“He’s 202, 203 right now,” Kirschner said. “I think by the time he’s a junior in college, I think he’ll be 240, 245. He already benches 350. By the time he gets done doing the whole college thing I think he’ll be 240, and with his foot speed he is literally 4.55 electronic in the 40-yard dash. I think he has real upside from the high school level when he finally fills out.”
Playing for one of the best programs in the state this past season, the four-star Bilal was already a menace to the tune of 106 tackles, 4.5 sacks and a fumble recovery.
“Asmar has the ability to hit and fly around,” Kirschner stated.
A humble kid with a bright future, Bilal quietly goes about his business. His mother, who works for the school corporation, is strict on what she wants from her youngest son.
“No C’s,” Bilal said with a smile. “Nothing below a B. Just A’s and B’s.
Alabama and Notre Dame are two schools Bilal would love to see a scholarship from.
“I was just always told to have good grades just as a backup for everything in life. In elementary school I had straight A’s and as I went on I got some B’s but I still try to get straight A’s.”
Bilal says there isn’t any pressure, he just doesn’t know how to carry himself any other way. He’s loved around the school by his coaches, teachers and teammates alike.
“Maybe just self-motivation,” he tried to explain. “Maybe it’s just me as a general person.”
Despite knowing he was one of the best players in the state, thinking of himself as a potential blue-chipper like Smith is still something Bilal is struggling to wrap his head around. Even the word blue-chipper brought a look of amazement.
“It’s just shocking,” Bilal said. “It’s just a great opportunity. I never thought this day would come. It’s shocking that it’s here now.”
Indiana is the school Bilal is most familiar with at this point and the only college program he’s visited. He’d like to get to Iowa and Northwestern when he can. He attended a recent junior day on the Hoosiers campus.
“It’s just great,” Bilal said. “Coach (William) Inge is a great coach. He keeps in contact with me. It was just great down there. The atmosphere was nice. Family oriented.”
Bilal says he’s happy with whatever opportunities that potentially come his way, but there are two scholarships he’d love to receive.
“Alabama, I’ve always wanted Alabama,” he stated. “That and Notre Dame. They’re a great school. There are a lot of great schools out there.”
And not a lot of players like Bilal.