Recruiting: Milliner will be major contributor

By T.J.Walls
Recruiting correspondent

Update on: DeMarcus Milliner, Stanhope Elmore
H.S. Position: DB/Athlete/Return Specialist

With most of Alabama’s secondary leaving after this season, Alabama’s staff has made it a top priority to land top-notch defensive backs that will contribute early and help provide depth in the young secondary.

One of the most talented Defensive Backs that is already on campus with the Alabama Crimson Tide is 6’2, 180 lbs. DeMarcus Milliner.

Milliner completed all the necessary requirements to graduate early so that he could get a jumpstart during spring drills. With Javier Arenas, Kareem Jackson, and several others gone, the secondary will be looking to reload and fill the void without much of a drop-off in defensive production.

Head Coach & A.D of Stanhope Elmore Jeff Foshee spoke a little about DeMarcus and gave some insight into how he believes Milliner will perform for the Alabama Crimson Tide. Coach Foshee has been a head coach for more than 15 years and has coached many outstanding players over the years, but Foshee says that DeMarcus is the best he’s ever coached.

“It’s not just that he’s such a superior athlete, but he is one of the best young men you will ever come across. He is also going to fit into what Coach Saban is doing at Alabama. You will not see DeMarcus take a play off, and he is a natural leader on and off the field.”

When asked what position he may play for Alabama Foshee said, “I believe DeMarcus will probably play cornerback. He has 4.3 to 4.4 speed, with a quick first step. He is one of the best lock down corners I’ve ever been around. He will fit great in Bama’s defensive man scheme. He can do it all! He really doesn’t have many weaknesses other than he may need to gain a little strength. But Coach (Scott) Cochran will have him ready in the weight room.

“Milliner is already on campus, learning the playbook, working out, and doing everything possible so he will be ready for the spring drills. I believe he will be a major contributor for this upcoming season. If all goes as planned, he will be in great shape to possibly have a starting position,” Foshee added.

T.J.’s thoughts:
So with Milliner, Keenan Allen, Jarrick Williams, Nick Perry, Deion Belue, and John Fulton to go along Dre Kilpatrick, Mark Barron, Robby Green, Robert Lester, and Rod Woodson, the future looks bright for the secondary for the next 3 or4 years.

Alabama may be losing a lot of great players on the defensive side this year, but what makes Alabama Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban one of the best evaluators and recruiters is that he is always one step ahead and reloading with top flight talent. Although Alabama’s secondary will be young and inexperienced, the defense should remain one of the best in the nation. Freshman mistakes are going to happen, but once the new secondary core gets their feet wet, expect big things.

Some of the guys mentioned could end up on the offensive side of the ball to utilize their athletic ability. Milliner had huge numbers on offense for Stanhope Elmore.

Don’t be surprised if Milliner ends up returning kicks over time. He has a 40-inch vertical with long arms and has the tools to cover the bigger top notch receivers. With a few years in Alabama’s weight program, he could add some good solid weight which would allow the staff to try him out at safety without losing his blazing speed.

*He is a ball hawk and there are not too many people that will out run him. He will be possibly be one of the fastest players in the S.E.C. So barring injury, don’t expect a red-shirt. Look for Milliner to be a standout very early.

*After Going through films and seeing DeMarcus in person over the years, he will start at one of the positions in the secondary. His running style, cutting ability, change of direction and overall speed reminds me of Deion Sanders. He is capable of developing into a Deon caliber Kick Return Specialist/ D.B.

*In a way, Milliner reminds me of Mark Barron when Mark played at St. Paul‘s. When I covered Barron in H.S., He made a huge impression on me and like Milliner, both are so athletic that they could play and standout in the secondary or as R.B.’s or receivers. Milliner is faster than Barron and not nearly as big.

*Different ways that I evaluated DeMarcus Milliner: Attended the Badger Sports National 7-on-7 tournament in Tampa at South Fla. this past summer. Milliner ran a sub 4.4 on high tuned: I believe he was rated a 4-star before that event. Milliner covered some of the nation’s best receivers and they didn’t stand a chance. That’s when his stock went up and the paid sites reevaluated him and labeled Milliner a 5-star according to Rivals and Scout. Jarrick Williams was on team Alabama with Milliner and he is underrated in my opinion. (I’ll profile him this week. He is a beast. I will be evaluating several other new comers, possible signees, and several other features that should be very interesting.) This past year DeMarcus had another stellar year.

*A few other commitments off the top of my head that really impressed me at the event in Tampa were: Brian Vogler 6’7, 256 lbs., 4.7, Blake Sims 6’1, 180 lbs., Ath, Jarrick Williams 6’1, 205, Saftey/LB.

–T.J. Walls is a recruiting analyst with several years experience. He will profile several players this week for the Capstone Report.