Pillans Says Thunderbirds Are Go!

Kayla Desroches/KMXT

From attending football camps to playing youth league, one Kodiak High School player has been preparing for college football since age nine, and now he’ll be fulfilling that dream in Mesa, Arizona, east of Phoenix. According to a Kodiak Island Borough School District press release, Kordell Pillans will be playing at Mesa Community College the next two to four years, after signing a scholarship offer from the school earlier this month.

Mesa is a successful producer of collegiate football players and more than 100 have continued onto such Division 1 powerhouses as Arizona and Southern Cal.

According to Mesa Offensive Line Coach Shawn Gloden, Kodiak had done the job as far as preparing Pillans for collegiate competition as a Thunderbirds lineman.

As the press release describes, Pillans has worked with Kodiak coaches on his technique and toughness, played both offense and defense for the Bears and served as starting offensive tackle in his sophomore year. He has received numerous recognitions during his four years at Kodiak High School, including being named First Team Offensive Tackle for the Alaska Schools Activities Association All-State Medium School Football Team.

According to his mother, Laurinda Haskin, Pillans discussed different colleges with Kodiak High School coaching staff and spent a lot of time on the phone speaking to different college representatives.

Mesa will offer Pillans a generous package through the Western Undergraduate Exchange Program, the press release says. The exchange program offers students from the Western United States, Alaska, Hawaii, and the Polynesian islands a slightly higher tuition than in-state students, but a third of the out-of-state cost. Mesa will also provide an optional aid package for Pillans’ first year and a full scholarship for his second.

While Pillans has been hard at work becoming the athlete that Mesa will soon acquire, he’s also kept his grades up. And he’ll continue doing that as a Mesa student. If he wants to transfer to a Division I, BCS-caliber school after two years at Mesa, he’ll need to maintain at least a 2.5 GPA. Mesa coaches emphasize the whole package. They try to produce athletes that are strong, fast, and offer a solid academic record, and Glowden says Mesa provides tutoring to its athletes to achieve that.

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