After three seasons of running the football for Pineville, Derrick Milton will finish his senior season at Hargrave Military Academy, a popular prep school destination for football prospects with hopes of playing top-level Division-I ball.
Milton, who rushed for just shy of 4,500 yards across his high school career, has attended a pair of camps so far this summer, which has since led to serious attention from both SEC programs that landed visits.
“I went to LSU’s first camp in June, then I went and checked out Mississippi State’s camp with a couple of other Louisiana kids,” Milton said. “With LSU, I went in thinking that I might get offered, but the coaches told me they wanted to keep watching things over. Still, I had a great camp and tested well. Coach (Les) Miles and (running backs) coach (Frank) Wilson both said they liked what I brought to the table.”
During his camp stay in Baton Rouge Milton worked out on both sides of the football for the LSU staff, a sign that the Tigers might be willing to make space for the 5-foot-11, 205-pounder to fit into a class that already holds three running back commitments in Jeremy Hill, Kenny Hilliard and Terrance Magee.
As for the possibility of a scholarship, Milton is holding out hope that LSU comes calling at some point this fall, which would in turn put the pressure on the Louisiana native to return home for his college days.
“An LSU offer would be pretty special,” Milton said. “The coaches have told me that after how I’ve looked recently, don’t be surprised if I transfer to Hargrave and the phone buzzes with an offer. I just need to stay on track, because I will have opportunities.
“The coaches at Hargrave have told me that I am currently projected as the starter, and I expect to be in a steady rotation with one other running back so we both can keep fresh. Playing next to and against that kind of talent will be really good for me.”
While still hoping to add LSU, Milton’s current offer sheet is made up of Memphis and Mississippi State. Former LSU running backs coach Larry Porter, now the headman at Memphis, is recruiting Milton to the Volunteer State. The Bulldogs, who offered Milton at their camp last month, were tabbed as the one-time frontrunner.
“The Mississippi State coaches told me to come up there to Starkville and just have a normal day and I would get a scholarship, but I ended up shining and having a great day,” Milton said. “I tested at 4.4 in the forty, 39 ½ in the vertical, 4.1 in the shuttle and a 10-3 broad jump. They offered pretty much on the spot.
“Coach (Dan) Mullen and the other coaches really want me to come there, and I like Mississippi State a good bit. They let me know I was the top running back on their whole board. Coach Mullen told me to get to Hargrave and just take my time with it, so there’s no pressure on me to commit anywhere.”
A third SEC school, Ole Miss, has also picked up the pace with their recruitment of the Pineville standout.
“Ole Miss is definitely the newest team that is talking with me a good bit,” Milton said. “They said that they had been hearing more and more about me, and they asked for my highlight tapes. The coaches said that if I was anything on video like people have said I am, then they would offer me as well. I know I’d be pretty excited to add another SEC scholarship.”
Milton won’t return to Baton Rouge for the second Les Miles Football Camp, electing to end his summer football tour with a trip to the Top Gun camp in Florida. Set to report to Hargrave on August 16, the rising senior won’t rush to make a decision, instead focusing his efforts on staying on track academically so that he can make the move to college ball.
“I’m good right now, but I have to take the ACT and score well, and I feel like Hargrave can help me prepare for everything better than I would at home,” Milton said. “It’s a great opportunity for me, and I want to take advantage of that. I will take all the recruiting stuff as it comes. Right now, there’s no rush.”