Dogs' Freshman WR Tee Milons Getting Anxious

[Premium article] A record-setting receiver out of the prep ranks, versatile all-State wideout Tee Milons of Starkville would love to continue the trend in college.<P> One of Mississippi State's coach Jackie Sherrill's most prized recruits, Milons says he's getting exciting about the upcoming campaign which has the Bulldogs opening the 2002 season at Eugene, Oregon, against the Ducks.

A 5-11, 170-pound speedster with the uncanny ability to get open and finish the play with big yardage, Milons established a new state record with 20 touchdown catches during his senior campaign which saw the Starkville Yellowjackets roll to the 5A state championship.

He said that while he's honored to be listed among the all-time touchdown pass catching leaders in the state, he's more concerned about getting "on the same page" with the quarterbacks and learning all the pass routes.

"There's been some great receivers from this state, so yes, it's nice to be in the record books, but I'm just trying to stay focused on getting ready for fall practice," he said following some off-season conditioning.

"I didn't know that I had set a new state record for touchdown catches until someone told me," said the mild-mannered yet aggressive-style receiver. "Someone had said they thought I was within two touchdowns of the record before the state championship game, but I wasn't sure. Then I saw in the papers I had broken the record. It's a nice record to hold, but it's not something I dwell on because records are set to be broken."

Milons fit in nicely with first-year Starkville coach Bill Lee's wide open offense. His number was called in numerous "pitch and catch" combinations with talented quarterback Deangelo Dantzler at the trigger.

Milons caught six passes, three for touchdowns in the state title game, a 32-0 shutout decision over Moss Point at Jackson Memorial Stadium. He eclipsed the 100-yard barrier in receptions in the championship game with his half dozen receptions good for 136 yards, a sparkling 22.7 yards per catch. And he surpassed the 1,000-yard mark in catches for the season with 47 grabs for 1,194 yards, an even more impressive 25.4 yards per catch average.

A dangerous kick return specialist, Milons says he hopes he can contribute as a freshman with the Bulldogs either as a receiver or on the special teams.

"I know it's tough to break into the lineup as a first-year player in the Southeastern Conference and I know there's a lot of talented receivers ahead of me," said Milons, who comes from a very athletic family.

Tee's oldest brother, Freddie, was an All-SEC receiver and kick returner at Alabama before being taken in the NFL Draft. Jereme plays minor league baseball at Vero Beach, Fla., in the Los Angeles Dodgers organization. Not to overlook his obviously very talented sisters - Anita signed an SEC hoops pact at Ole Miss and now coaches in the Starkville system while Marcie just wrapped-up an outstanding career in basketball with the Lady Jackets.

One weekend during Tee's junior year at Starkville, the talented Milons trio all returned kicks for touchdowns. Indeed incredible, the "hat trick" was a rare feat, to say the least.

"I remember when that happened a couple of years ago," recalled the youngest of the gifted Milons brothers. "First Jereme and me scored touchdowns in a Friday night game at Yellowjacket Stadium, and then on that Saturday, Freddie, returned a kick for a TD," Tee recounted. "It was unbelievable," said Milons, one of the top-rated receivers in the South his senior campaign.

An accomplished baseball player in the mold of Jereme and his father Freddie Sr., Tee says, "with all the summer baseball games, sometimes he wouldn't mind playing."

Milons said reading over the past weekend in the local papers (Starkville Daily News, Columbus Dispatch) about the Dizzy Dean World Series made him a little hungry to play.

"I planned to go to the Starkville and Georgia game Sunday and then it rained, so I didn't go," added Milons, who started the 2002 diamond campaign, collecting a season-opening 15 straight hits before being retired. Listen up Ron Polk!

"I miss it (baseball) some, but I'm focused on football right now," pointed out the soft-spoken yet genuine dual threat on the diamond and on the gridiron.

"Maybe, this spring when the times comes, I'll ask the coaches about playing baseball, but right now all I'm thinking about is getting ready to play football this fall."

Mississippi State's fall reporting date for newcomers is creeping up slowly and Milons wants to know as much as possible about all phases of the game when the times comes.

He said his dad, a Jackson State diamond standout, has already given him some valuable pointers and imparted with a lot of wisdom and insight: "He told me to stay in shape this summer and do what I'm suppose to do," said the young receiver who in some respects resembles a former Starkville Yellowjacket standout in size and speed, Bill Buckley, a first team all-SEC wideout at Mississippi State before being drafted by the New York Jets. Buckley was an explosive, 5-11, 170-pounder who could catch the ball in traffic. Sound familiar?

A fan of former Jets and Tampa Bay Bucs receiver Keyshawn Johnson, fast-becoming an NFL legend, Milons donned Johnson's No. 19 while with the Black & Gold.

Qualified academically and anxious to contribute, Milons sees his first year at Mississippi State as a "big challenge" but not something to shy away from even as a freshman.

"I have a lot to learn, a lot of adjustments to make, but I feel like I'm getting there, and that's very exciting," said Milons, who can't wait to play before a big home crowd in Starkville.

Don Foster, a veteran newspaper writer, is the Sports Editor for the Starkville Daily News. He will be writing regular feature articles for Gene's Page, the unofficial source for Mississippi State sports and Mississippi High School sports on the internet.

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