Derrick Milton Profile

Pineville High School running back Derrick Milton has placed all of his focus on the field this year, but he's also started thinking about the future.

Derrick Milton

Milton is in his third season as the starter in the Rebels' backfield, but because he started high school at the age of 16, he will not have a fourth year of eligibility next year.

That hasn't stopped college coaches from courting the 5-foot-11, 195-pound back.

"I plan on doing prep school," said Milton, who mentioned possibly landing at Hargrave Military Academy, a post-graduate school in Virginia that has placed nearly 40 players in the NFL and countless more in Division I athletics.

"I have talked to the LSU and Oklahoma coaches about that," he said.

While Milton said his top two schools are LSU and Oklahoma – which both have asked him to come in for a visit – he said he is "really open-minded to anybody."

"The main thing is to get him done with this year and in a prep school," said Mike Richard, Milton's high school coach.

Milton is drawn to LSU as the biggest school in his home state, but he has a familial pull to the Sooners. His older brother, Chris Brown, is a senior running back in Norman, Okla.

Emerging as the starter in a three-headed backfield his first year in Pineville, Milton rushed for nearly 700 yards and scored seven touchdowns. Last year, that production increased to 1,227 yards and 10 TDs as the full-time feature back, even though he suffered a broken right hand in the second game of the year.

So far, he's shown no signs of slowing down and is just shy of a pace for 2,000 yards in his final season with the Rebels.

Through two games this year, Milton has been a major force for Pineville, despite a high ankle sprain. He has rushed for 380 yards and five touchdowns.

Unfortunately for the Rebels, their star running back's production hasn't led to any victories. Pineville is 0-2 heading into Friday night's rivalry game with Alexandria Senior High.

After switching to a single-back set last year to highlight Milton, Richard has changed back to his traditional I-formation. While he's not blessed with blazing speed (4.55 in the 40), Milton's biggest strengths are his vision and ability to change directions quickly, and he is a punishing runner who finishes strong.

Richard thinks his gamebreaking back is just starting to get back at full speed after suffering the ankle sprain in the team's jamboree, and he expects Milton to continue getting stronger as the season goes along.

While Milton said his clear-cut favorites are LSU and Oklahoma, he's not counting out other schools. One of those schools is Louisiana Tech, where he spent time this summer at the Dooley Dawgs camp.

"It was a great camp. I had fun," Milton said of his time in Ruston. "They have great coaches. I met a lot of people. They talked to me about a lot of things."

If he can continue progressing as his coach expects, Milton could be primed for a huge final season.

"He's the best (back) I've ever coached, no doubt," Richard said. "His size, speed, strength, change of direction (and) instincts are special."

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