Few obstacles for Rock Bridge's Millard

Friday, August 29, 2008 | 2:49 a.m. CDT; updated 11:45 a.m. CDT, Friday, August 29, 2008
Rock Bridge linebacker Trey Millard says he is ready for Friday night’s season opener against Lee's Summit North.

COLUMBIA - Wednesday was the kind of day where you sweat just sitting down.

That didn't stop the Rock Bridge football team from practicing for nearly three hours. That didn't stop Trey Millard, a two-way player for the Bruins, who has received interest from several DI colleges, either.

On one play, he received the ball in the backfield, broke through several tackles, and ran into the open field. The only thing that stopped him from a touchdown was a coach's whistle.

He also figures to be hard to stop tonight when Rock Bridge takes the field for its 7 p.m. season opener against visiting Lee's Summit North.

"Those lights say it's time to be with my teammates and show what we've done (in practice)," Millard, 17, said. "It's so hard to explain."

What isn't hard to explain is why Millard is such a good player. Bruins coach A.J. Ofodile has a long list of reasons.

"He's naturally gifted, tall, fast, intelligent, strong," said Ofodile of Millard who boasts a 3.96 GPA. "He's got every tool. I think he's an obvious DI athlete."

Several Big 12 Conference schools think so, too. Missouri offered Millard a scholarship this summer, and Kansas State and Oklahoma also have shown interest. Millard isn't thinking too hard just yet about a choice

"I'm not really worried about colleges," he said. "I'm going to wait until the offseason. I'm just not really worried."

Millard, who is 6 feet 2, 240 pounds, he says he is likely to be a linebacker at the next level, but could play fullback in a college program that uses that position. Ofodile says he isn't ready to peg a position on Millard just yet.

"He could be a linebacker, he could be a defensive end, he could be a tight end," he said. "Someone should recruit him as an athlete."

And Millard's background as an athlete is extensive. He was a defender in soccer through eighth grade, but when there weren't enough players to form a team the next season, his stepfather Robbie Millard suggested playing football and convinced Trey Millard's mother, Joy, to let him play.

Trey Millard played in the Columbia Youth Football League in ninth grade and, in only his second year in football, recorded 101 tackles the next year at Rock Bridge. He also plays basketball for the Bruins and has played baseball and wrestled. The track and field team, Millard said, also asked him to throw for them.

That isn't to say Millard is perfect. He admits there are things he must improve to play at the collegiate level, including his footwork at the linebacker position and being focused on every play. Ofodile said he thinks the best cure for that is for Millard to keep playing.

"He needs to work on never taking a play off," Ofodile said. "But that's a typical mistake of a sophomore. He hasn't had the success he wanted to at the high school level yet."

Millard, though, has the desire to fix everything that his coach says needs improving.

"I play for the love of the game," Millard said. "There's nothing I'd much rather do. I wouldn't do anything else."


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