Several months ago, Daniel Tillo wasn't even on the football team at North (Sioux City, Iowa), let alone its star quarterback. While Tillo had been the team's starter as a sophomore, the 6-6 junior was planning on concentrating on basketball this year after suffering a concussion during a football game last season.
"We all respected his decision," said North coach Shawn Meth. "The thing is, he is a fierce competitor and nothing fazes him. We thought before the season began, he might change his mind."
Tillo did, but Meth told Tillo he couldn't play quarterback until he knew the team's new option offense. Tillo played the first five games in various roles, at defensive end, at safety and at tight end. In the sixth game of the season, against Johnston, Tillo got his first snaps at quarterback in the second half. Though the Stars fell 28-17, Tillo passed for 205 yards and a touchdown and ran for a touchdown. He was named the starter the following week.
In the past two weeks, Tillo has thrown for 938 yards and contributed more than 1,100 yards of total offense. On Friday, he completed 30 of 40 passes for 468 yards and six touchdowns and ran for 206 yards and touchdowns of 80 and 78 yards in a 62-39 defeat of Fort Dodge.
"When he came out late, I just said, you're not going to just play quarterback," Meth said. "He showed the greatest character because he said he realized he didn't deserve to start. He never whined and never complained. Then the opportunity to play quarterback came and he's a whole different player right now."
Tillo is playing so well that Meth changed the team's offense from the option to a empty set, with five wide receivers and Tillo alone in the backfield.
"Everybody relaxes when he's in the game," Meth said. "He's kind of goofy. He rarely takes things seriously, but when he does, watch out."
Tillo leads the American Family Insurance ALL-USA Performances of the Week. The rest of the top performances:
Jay Banyasz, QB, Columbia, Columbia Station, Ohio
Senior threw for a county-record seven touchdowns and 390 yards in his team's 53-13 defeat of Brooklyn on Friday.
Shuler Bentley, QB, Byrnes, Duncan, S.C.
Senior threw for 510 yards and eight touchdowns in a 76-49 win at Mauldin on Friday.
Garrett Gray, WR, Marble Falls, Texas
Senior had 10 catches for 189 yards and three touchdowns, ran for a touchdown and returned a kick for a touchdown in a 45-41 defeat of Vista Ridge (Cedar Park) on Friday.
VIDEO: Garrett Gray's highlights
Austin Hensley, QB, Hurricane, W.Va.
Senior threw six touchdown passes and ran for a touchdown in a 55-28 defeat of Winfield on Friday.
Craig Hofeld, QB, Destiny Christian, Del City, Okla.
Senior threw for 463 yards and seven touchdowns in 64-16 defeat of Windsor Hills Baptist (Oklahoma City) on Tuesday.
Hunter Lane, DE, Gibbs, Corryton, Tenn.
Senior had 13 tackles and four sacks in 28-14 defeat of Powell on Friday.
WATCH: Louisiana HS senior with Down syndrome scores TD
Micah Miller, S, Arlington, Wash.
Senior intercepted three passes in his team's 24-16 defeat of Inglemoor (Kenmore) on Friday.
Chris Noesges, LB, Manalpan, Englishtown, N.J.
Senior had 14 tackles, including three sacks, in a 48-18 defeat of Colts Neck on Friday.
VIDEO: Highlights of Noesges vs. Colts Neck
Xavier Turner, RB, Birdville, North Richland Hills, Texas
Senior ran for 230 yards and seven touchdowns in his team's 64-30 defeat of Chisholm Trail (Fort Worth) on Friday.