Nebraska is looking for all the backfield help it can get, and it just found more in the junior college ranks.
Dedrick Mills, a former Georgia Tech back who's currently at Garden City (Kansas) Community College, announced his verbal commitment on Tuesday afternoon.
"He's a great running back," Garden City head coach Jeff Sims said. "He's an NFL tailback."
Sims, who has a close relationship with NU outside linebackers coach Jovan Dewitt and knows many of the Husker assistants well, said he believes Mills will be an instant impact player when he arrives in Lincoln.
"I've had four All-American running backs," Sims said. "When I was at Indiana, I was fortunate that I was there when Tevin Coleman was there. (Mills) has Tevin Coleman-like traits in attitude, in work ethic and in commitment to wanting to be a great football player.
"Him and Tevin are different-style running backs, but I would tell you that, (compared to) four All-Americans, he has the chance to be the best one ever. The one thing those guys had, the reason they were four All-Americans, is they played the whole season and they carried the ball."
Like to take the time and say thank you Nebraska for a second chance. pic.twitter.com/RAEJcAttKr— Dedrick D. Mills (@MillsDedrick) September 4, 2018
Mills, listed at 5-foot-10 and 227 pounds on Garden City's website, was dismissed from the Yellow Jackets team just before the 2017 season after a breakout 2016 campaign in which he rushed for 771 yards (5.2 per carry) and 12 touchdowns as a freshman.
A recent Atlanta Journal Constitution story about Mills' road to redemption and another chance in major college football reported that he was dismissed from GT after violating the school's substance abuse policy three times.
In the wake Mills' dismissal, Jackets' coach Paul Johnson said, "He’s a good kid. I don’t think there’s a bad bone in his body. He’s a hard worker. He loves to play football. He just made some poor choices.”
Mills' first season at Garden City was cut short after just seven carries and 61 yards due to a collarbone injury, but in the Broncbusters' opener this year, he rushed 24 times for 267 yards and three scores. He is tracking toward arriving this winter with two years of eligibility remaining.
Coaches from across the country have been calling about Mills as recently as today. They were all too late, Sims said. That's in part because he and Dewitt formed a close friendship when they worked across the hallway from each other at Florida Atlantic and lived in the same neighborhood.
They can cut right to the chase.
"Here's the difference between Nebraska and the next place: Other schools call me and the go, 'Hey, can you tell me about Dedrick?' And I tell them that he's one of the best football players I've ever seen. … Then they ask me 900 questions. Look, I ain't got time to talk to every school in the country."
"Nebraska moves faster. Other schools, I talk to the assistant to recruiting, then the head of recruiting, then the position coach, then the head coach. And by the time everybody offers, Dedrick's already committed."
Mills originally attended Ware County High in Georgia and is a Waycross native. He picked Tech over Auburn, Florida State, Kentucky and many others in 2016.
And now Mills is the third running back in NU's 2019 class, joining Ronald Thompkins (Loganville, Georgia) and Rahmir Johnson (Oradell, New Jersey).
The Huskers are still hot on the trail of other prospects like Kentucky standout Wandale Robinson. However, NU also lost a verbal commitment last month from Thomas Grayson (Tulsa, Oklahoma).
Thompkins tore his ACL in his first game of the fall, though 247Sports reported that NU still intends to honor his scholarship.
Those developments, along with Tre Bryant's decision to retire from football, mean the Huskers aren't slowing down in recruiting backfield players.
|Matthew Anderson||OT||6-7||250||Leesville, La.||***|
|Brant Banks||DL||6-8||285||Houston (Westbury Christian)||***|
|Bryce Benhart||OT||6-9||305||Lakeville, Minn. (North)||****|
|Desmond Bland||OL||6-4||300||Flossmoor, Ill. (Arizona Western C.C.)||****|
|Darien Chase||WR||6-1||175||Vancouver, Wash. (Union)||****|
|Myles Farmer||DB||6-3||180||Atlanta (Westlake)||***|
|Jimmy Fritzsche||OL||6-7||250||Greenville, S.C.||***|
|Jamin Graham||OLB||6-6||240||Attalla, Ala. (Etowah)||***|
|Jackson Hannah||ILB||6-3||220||Nashville, Tenn. (Montgomery Bell)||****|
|Nick Henrich||ILB||6-4||210||Omaha (Burke)||****|
|Chris Hickman||TE||6-5||220||Omaha (Burke)||***|
|Rahmir Johnson||RB||5-10||170||Oradell, N.J. (Bergen Catholic)||****|
|Michael Lynn||OT||6-7||300||Englewood, Colo. (Cherry Creek)||***|
|Luke McCaffrey||QB||6-3||185||Littleton, Colo. (Valor Christian)||***|
|Dedrick Mills||RB||5-10||227||Waycross, Ga. (Garden City C.C.)||***|
|Jamie Nance||WR||6-0||170||Blanchard, Okla.||***|
|Mosai Newsom||DE||6-5||260||Waverly, Iowa (Waverly-Shell Rock)||***|
|Quinton Newsome||DB||6-2||180||Suwanee, Ga. (North Gwinnett)||***|
|Ethan Piper||DL||6-4||275||Norfolk (Catholic)||***|
|Ty Robinson||DE||6-6||285||Gilbert, Ariz. (Higley)||****|
|Wandale Robinson||RB||5-9||180||Frankfort, Ky. (Western Hills)||****|
|Ronald Thompkins||RB||6-0||203||Loganville, Ga. (Grayson)||***|
|Javin Wright||DB||6-3||195||Chandler, Ariz. (Hamilton)||***|