Mascoutah Thrilled With Matt Milton

Many college recruiters are just beginning to locate the town of Mascoutah, Illinois, on a map. They are interested in recruiting a tall, rangy wide receiver from that town named Matt Milton. Illinois already knows him well as he attended a one-day camp last summer and a Junior Day last weekend. The Illini have offered him a scholarship.

Mascoutah's football coach left the program after a successful 9-4 2008 season to coach elsewhere. So receivers coach Scott Battas has taken over the job of assisting star receiver Matt Milton with the recruiting process. Battas hopes to be named the head coach soon. Regardless, he will be there to help him and his family make a wise college decision.

"He's kind of flown under the radar in a lot of ways," Battas says. "I played ball at Northern Illinois, and a lot of coaches that coached me have since scattered over the country. So I made some calls and got his name out there. He went to a couple junior days last year as a sophomore and did quite well. That's what kind of put him on the map I think.

"I think a lot of people have heard about him, but once they see him and talk to him, he's a high character kid too, it peaks their interest. Not to mention he's a good student with a 3.3 grade point average and a top 15% kid in his class."

The most intriguing thing about Matt is his height. Everyone asks if his listed height is an exaggeration.

"He's 6'-6" tall. I was just talking with the basketball coach, and he said, 'You'd better start telling them he's closer to 6'-7' because he keeps growing. He's a little over 6'-6", but let's leave him at 6'-6" because I don't want him to get too tall and then become clumsy."

A Mascoutah native, Battas says Milton plays like a much shorter man.

"He's a fantastic football player. He's a tall, rangy kid, athletic. In fact, he's one of the better basketball players down here too. He's a fast kid for his size. He's a strong kid. He can bench press 225 ten times. He's got all the intangible things college programs are looking for. We're excited to have him.

"He runs above average routes. If I were to pinpoint his strength, I'd say he's a prototype redzone receiver. We use him in a lot of ways. He's carried the ball for us. We try to give him the ball on the line of scrimmage because he can do a lot of things. He's very athletic once he gets it. He's a hard runner too.

"He's got good feet for a big guy, real good feet. He does have long strides, but he does a nice job of breaking down when we ask him to and getting out of his breaks.

"He's working at it. He's got to get better, don't get me wrong. There are things he's got to do better. But he's got all the things you can't teach, and that certainly helps from a coaching standpoint."

Despite his height, football is his preferred sport.

"Football is where he is getting the bulk of his attention. He's a gifted basketball player too. But I think he probably brings more to the table as a football player in my book. That's what I foresee for him, and I think he's kind of bought into that himself."

Matt has four scholarship offers already, with more on the way.

"He has offers from Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota and Arizona. We've got paper offers from those guys. We anticipate a couple more coming in from Wisconsin and Kansas State. They also seem very interested. I won't guess how many he will get, but I suspect he'll have quite a few come summertime."

Milton also has parents who are involved in the process, so he will undoubtedly make a smart decision for his college career.

"He's got a good support system at home. His parents are very understanding of the process. I just told them to be patient. When it's time and he feels comfortable about a place, he'll make a decision."

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