Houston D.C. Bumpas on Hanik Milligan

Chargers Update was able to catch up with Dick Bumpas, the former University of Houston defensive coordinator to talk about sixth round San Diego Chargers draft pick Hanik Milligan. Bumpas has since moved on to Western Michigan after spending the previous four years with the Cougars.

With the 188th pick in the NFL Draft, the San Diego Chargers selected Hanik Milligan, a hard-hitting safety out of Houston.

Hanik Milligan becomes the fourth Cougar in the history of the school to be drafted by the Chargers. Running back Dick Post was the first, as San Diego made him a fourth-round pick in 1967 when the Chargers were still member of the American Football League (AFL). Two years later in 1969 in what would be the final AFL Draft, defensive back Mike Simpson was taken in the 13th round. In 1975 linebacker Larry Keller was a ninth-round selection.

What can you tell us about Hanik?

"I think he has a lot of potential, I think he will do well there. He is a very dedicated young man, football is very important to him and he has demonstrated obvious skills and he is good at what he does.

What brought him to Houston from Iowa Central Community College?

"We were actually recruiting his brother, and his brother mentioned him to us and we recruited him also."

His brother, Hamin Milligan, went on to play in the Arena Football league. Hamin was just as fierce a hitter as Hanik has turned out to be.

How many teams scouted him?

"I don't know that, he did have a lot of interest though."

Milligan suffered a left knee sprain (posterior cruciate ligament) in 1998 fall drills (8/20), missing the season and only missed a half of a game after that, a 2000 game he left with a chest bruise.

What is his greatest strength?

"His ability to diagnose, I think he is a good student of the game."

What kind of defense do you play at Houston?

"We were a 4-2-5."

Besides his hard hitting what makes him so good at causing fumbles?

"Well obviously the harder you hit them, sometimes they let go of it."

Milligan has averaged over 128 tackles each year and hits like a Mack Truck. He is extremely effective defending the run causing 9 fumbles over the course of his collegiate career, while being less adequate in pass coverage.

Hanik is a hard hitting safety and in the league now there has been an emphasis on pass coverage from a safety…did that hurt his stock leading into the Draft?

"No, I think he does a good job, in fact I think the Chargers will be very pleased with his man skills."

Milligan was a first team All-Conference selection as a senior after leading Houston with 145 tackles, contributing one interception and seven passes defensed. He amassed 174/1/4 as a junior after 87/5/8 the prior year.

I hope it was some of the coaching you did?

"Coaches don't get to play though."

What does he have to work on to compete in the NFL?

"I think the biggest thing is getting used to the terminology. I think once he gets it down he will blend right in."

Lasting to the sixth round was he a steal?

"I think so. I think you will be real happy with him."

When Milligan makes the Chargers' opening-day roster, he will become only the third former Cougar to suit up for the Lightning Bolts. Post played four years for the Chargers, and three decades later, safety Gerome Williams suited up for San Diego for the 1998 campaign.

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