Nebraska running back Dedrick Mills wasn't surprised to see his name atop the depth chart Monday.
"Not necessarily," he told reporters. "This is what I do. This is football, and this is my life. I give my all every day."
A transfer from Garden City (Kansas) Community College, Mills is listed on the depth chart ahead of sophomore Maurice Washington, although an "OR" separates their names indicating they're essentially on even terms. Whatever the case, they help each other along in practice, Mills said, and he expects big things from the duo in 2019.
He certainly expects big things from himself.
"My expectations for the season, I would probably say, is up to 1,500 (rushing) yards or more if I can get it -- with the help of my O-line and my quarterback," said Mills, who rushed for 1,358 yards and 19 touchdowns in 10 games last season at Garden City.
The 5-foot-11, 220-pound Mills, of Waycross, Georgia, rushed for a team-best 771 yards and scored 12 touchdowns in 2016 as a true freshman at Georgia Tech. But he was removed from the team after the season for repeated violations of the athletic department’s substance-abuse policy, all for marijuana use.
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Mills said Monday he made bad decisions and since has changed his behavior.
"It taught me to appreciate what I had and appreciate what you've got and what you're given," he said.
Although Mills' build is similar to that of Devine Ozigbo -- Nebraska's leading rusher last season -- Mills' style is different.
"To me, he's got quicker feet," Mills said. "I can juke 'em, too. But my main thing is I like to run people over. I like to cause pain."