Matt Milton, Kyle Prater Becoming Friends

It is uncommon for the state of Illinois to produce great receivers, but this year there are at least two who are national recruits. On top of that, they are both exceptionally tall and can out reach defenders for passes. Mascoutah's Matt Milton has scholarship offers from numerous outstanding schools, and his height is one of his best assets.

Matt Milton performed impressively at an Illinois one-day camp last summer, and his recruitment has exploded ever since. He grew another inch in height since then, which makes him even more appealing to college coaches.

"Last summer, I was about 6'-4"," Milton explains. "I've just grown an inch since then. I'm really 6'-5". Everybody lists me at 6'-6", but that's probably with cleats on. My height is a big advantage. Most corners aren't even above 6'-0" in my conference. When you have height on them, you want to take advantage of it. It's a big help."

Ironically, he participated the same day as Proviso East's Kyle Prater, who is one of the top receivers in the country and matches him in height. The two have become friends.

"I met Kyle at the Illinois one-day camp, and since then, I've seen him at junior days at Illinois and Iowa. He came up to the state dunk contest, I was participating in that. So I talked to him awhile. And then we text message every now and then, just to touch base."

Illinois and other colleges drool at the prospect of two 6'-5" athletes at the two outside receiver spots. Have he and Prater discussed attending the same college?

"Actually, I was gonna ask him today really, whether he had narrowed things down yet. We haven't talked about schools. He has close to 30 offers, and I have close to 20 offers. Narrowing it down is kind of hard. But I'm gonna talk to him later on tonight or whenever I get a chance soon and ask him what he's doing."

Milton was supposed to join Prater at a recent Nike camp held on the Illinois campus, but he had other obligations.

"I was in Tallahassee for a funeral. I was down there the entire week prior to that, and then that whole week. Kyle actually sent me a text message before the camp, seeing if I was coming or not. I heard it was a pretty good one."

The Mascoutah team camp begins Monday, and Milton and teammates will be preparing for an upcoming 7 on 7 camp.

"We were supposed to go to the 7 on 7 camp at Illinois, the big one, but there was a conflict. So we have to go to the one in Carbondale. It's still about 50 teams, so it's pretty big."

Milton is a hard worker who is always looking to improve, and these camps will help with that. He explains his best attributes as a receiver.

"My best attributes are my size and speed. Since I'm tall, guys probably think I'm weak, but right now I have the top bench press on the team. I lift 310 pounds. I like getting in the weight room.

"I use my strength to my advantage. Corners try to jam me pretty good, but after my sophomore year that jamming stuff really doesn't work."

Of course, there is always something to work on.

"Besides continuing to get stronger, I want to work on my speed, my feet and my route running. I want to have almost perfect form when I come to college. No one's perfect, but I want to be close to perfect. My coach Scott Battas was a receiver in college, and he's really helped me with my route running."

Milton stayed in shape during the spring by running track.

"I won our conference in the hurdles. I took a second in the triple jump and a third in the long jump. I didn't get any state honors. I lost the hurdles in the sectionals and missed qualifying for state by .02 seconds. That hurt a little bit."

He may not run track next spring because he may already have graduated by then.

"It's not official or anything like that, but I might be leaving early, depending on what school I choose. So I might be graduating in the winter."

Milton has an older brother who runs track at LSU. There were rumors earlier he might be transferring to a school closer to home, possibly Illinois. Is there any truth to that?

"We haven't really decided yet. We're actually gonna talk about that when he wakes up from his nap."

Milton has visited several schools already, and he hopes to see several others.

"I've been to Kansas, Kansas State, Illinois and Iowa. I definitely want to take a visit to Tennessee. I was gonna go for their spring game. I don't know if I'll wait until an official (visit) or not.

"I definitely want to see Washington and Stanford. I'm definitely gonna go to Mizzou also to check them out. Mizzou is closer than any other school. They're only about an hour and a half away, so getting there shouldn't be a problem from where we are.

"I've never been on the West Coast really. I used to live in Alaska, and we drove through there once on the way back. But checking out those schools would be a big difference. I lived in Alaska for three years. My mom's in the Air Force, so we moved around a lot. She's stationed at Scott Air Force Base now."

Those eager to hear Milton's ultimate college destination will need patience. It is too important a decision to make hastily.

"I'm just trying to decide what is the best fit because all of them have great facilities and great education. We're just narrowing it down right now, but I plan on making my decision come the fall. Maybe a little bit past that. I definitely plan on taking all five of my official visits."

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