Miami Georgia Tech Football

Running back Dedrick Mills, who played at Georgia Tech before transferring to Garden City Community College, is set to be admitted to NU.

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." 

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. 

Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Hometown (School) Stars
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. ***
Garrett Nelson OLB 6-3 235 Scottsbluff ***
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) ****
Garrett Snodgrass ATH 6-3 225 York ***
Ronald Thompkins RB 6-0 203 Loganville, Ga. (Grayson) ***
Javin Wright DB 6-3 195 Chandler, Ariz. (Hamilton) ***

Contact the writer at pgabriel@journalstar.com or 402-473-7439. On Twitter @HuskerExtraPG.


Sports writer

Parker joined the Journal Star as the University of Nebraska football beat writer in August 2017. He previously covered Montana State athletics for the Bozeman Daily Chronicle and graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 2012.

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