Matt Milton: a look at Tennessee signees

by Brandon Oliver on February 13, 2010

in Tennessee Vols Football Recruiting

Matt MiltonAs if it weren’t enough that the Tennessee staff brought in a couple of the nation’s most highly rated wide receiver prospects in the class of 2010, they also brought in another highly touted wide receiver who flew under the radar a little bit. Maybe it was due to his early commitment or maybe it was due to him being from Illinois, which is not the usual local for UT to go find receivers. Whatever it was, Matt Milton had a plan all along and he stuck with it all the way back in July.

The four-star Milton had previously been to campus for the Tennessee Football camp and fell in love with the school and the program. From then on, it was a mere formality as Milton knew what he wanted to do, but he wanted to make sure he did it right. Before heading to Knoxville this summer for an unofficial visit, Milton gathered up two of the more influential people in his life, his mother and his coach. The three of them headed down to Knoxville with the idea in mind that he would leave as a Volunteer commit, and that he did.

Former Head Coach, Lane Kiffin loves receivers like Milton due to their size and versatility and had plenty of success with guys like Mike Williams and Dwayne Jarrett at USC. While it all made sense at the time, when things changed, Milton never flinched. He was already on campus and already enrolled in classes and it was the school he fell in love with, not the coach. As it turns out, Milton is one of four highly regarded wide receiver prospects in this class and he is also the tallest in a crowd of tall receivers.

There are plenty of big guys out there that don’t have the hands, the speed or the moves to become a complete receiver, but Milton appears to have it all and that is why ESPNU and Scouts, Inc game him the following breakdown…

Milton is a mammoth wide receiver prospect that is extremely athletic and is a candidate to move to H-back at the next level as he continues to mature. Certainly looks the part and is a guy that is a load to handle in the open field. He is a raw athlete with huge hands, long arms and a long stride. He is not overly explosive or quick-twitch in his movements, but shows deceptive quickness and elusiveness, once he gets going. He actually has very competitive speed given his size and can be more productive as a vertical guy than his top-end speed indicates because he can lull defenders to sleep. His size gives him a huge advantage on deep routes. Shows good overall awareness and body control on jump balls. He will extend and elevate to win contested matchups. Has very good hands and shows quality focus along the sideline and over the middle. Is an ideal candidate to be a slot receiver working because of his size and wide catching radius. He is difficult to tackle one-on-one after the catch and will stiff arm or break arm tackles. We would be concerned about his ability to consistently separate against smaller, quicker defensive backs if matched up out wide because he builds speed and rounds off his cuts too much. Is a raw route runner at this stage and does not possess the sudden stop/start capabilities of some guys, but he is a nightmare in the red area and knows he can create mismatches. He gains position and shows body control as good as anyone in this class.

Milton’s size and versatility provide more of exactly what this set of wide receiver recruits are made up of. They are all taller receivers and they all have different strengths while being solid all the way around. While Da’Rick Rogers and Justin Hunter may have grabbed the headlines most recently and are thought to be the impact guys of the future, don’t forget about one of the earliest commitments as he has big plans for himself and the University of Tennessee.

Not too long after he signed, Milton told, “I want to win a national championship while I’m at UT and I think we have everything it takes to get that done.”

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 transplantiam February 14, 2010 at 1:17 am

Kiffin did one thing right while he was here, introducing Milton to UT. I don’t know if he ever tried to re-recruit him or not, probably not, as Milton enrolled early. It’s good to hear that Milton came here for UT, not Kiffin. I’ve a real good feeling about his future here as a Vol and hope I’m right. So, Welcome to Tennessee, Matt, enjoy your time with the best school in the SEC! I’ll be pulling for you to realize your dream too, a NC at UT!!

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