"I am going to Ole Miss Friday with a friend of mine, and we are staying over the weekend," stated Derrick Milton when asked what he has been up to lately. "I leave to Hargrave on (August) 14th, and that is about it."
Most players who end up at Hargrave go after they have completed their senior season to work on their academics and skills on the football field but the Pineville (LA) resident is taking a different route.
"I am going to play for their post grad team, but I was just a junior last season. Next year will be my true senior year. I get the best of both worlds now. I get a top academic program that makes sure you get all of your academics completed while athletically it is as close to playing college ball as you can get. Who wouldn't be excited about that?"
Derrick has an older brother who is giving him some guidance.
"My older brother, Chris Brown, just go through playing for Oklahoma. He is giving me some sound advise as is my grandmother. She always tells me that she knows I am going to make the best choice for me. I have always been one to try and keep things in perspective, and she has a lot of confidence in my decision making ability."
Confidence on the playing field looks to be no problem either.
"I rushed for 1, 880 yards and 15 TD's last season at Pineville. I was named 1st Team All-State. I am a hard runner that can also make the defender miss. I have 4.4 speed too. I run like Adrian Peterson. I talk to him a lot, and we hang out because my brother played with him. We are pretty tight. A.P. is always giving me pointers to help my game out."
What is going on with Ole Miss?
"A lot is going on with Ole Miss to tell you the truth (laugh). They offered me last week, and it is going to come down to them and MSU probably. It looks like I am going to be playing ball somewhere in Mississippi. But as to Ole Miss, I have a lot of interest in them, and they have a lot of interest in me. They have a great program and an awesome staff and a great running back coach. I have been talking a lot to Coach (Derrick) Nix lately and we have just bonded. It was kind of weird, like the first five minutes we talked for the first time, we just clicked. Now I call him all of the time. I also have a friend, Damien Jackson, that I played with at Pineville that goes to school there now. That makes the adjustment easier. But that does not mean that Mississippi State is not a good fit too. They are both dead even right now for me. I think I can make an impact at Ole Miss because they are losing Dexter McCluster. But at MSU I have the same situation with Dixon graduating. I feel real good about both teams to be honest."
What else makes MSU so attractive?
"Their campus is nice. I have been there three times, and they took care of me and showed me a lot of interest. I think there team is on the rise too, and I am always looking for a place that is on the rise. They sold out of tickets this year already and had good attendance last season."
What will he look for at Ole Miss to compare them to MSU?
"Mainly their campus and their environment, just where I fit in the best. That is where I am going to be spending my next four to five years so I have to be comfortable with everything. I want to see how the coaches are, look at the stadium, and things like that. Do I have a connection with the coaches or not?"
Does Milton feel like he has a better connection with the MSU staff because he has already been up there a few times while he has yet to make it up to Ole Miss?
"I have made more of a connection with them because I have been up there several times, but I am hoping when I go to Ole Miss they show me the love that State did. We shall see what happens when I get up there Friday."
What is going on with Oklahoma?
"They are recruiting me as well. Coach Dundy (Okl running back coach) kept in contact with me a lot last year, but I have not heard from him as much lately. They fell off somewhat."
Who else is showing interest?
"LSU is showing me hard interest right now as well. I talk to them a lot, but they have not offered yet. They are working on something though. Arkansas calls a lot. Alabama sends a lot of stuff in the mail, but I have not spoken to them on the phone yet. TCU and Oklahoma State are also showing me some interest."
Milton feels like a commitment could be coming in the very near future.
"I really do not have a time-frame, but I really would like to make my decision before my season starts. I can focus on football and my academics then without all of the outside distraction. It might not happen that way, but that is what I am shooting for."
Yancy Porter is the Mississippi Scout for Scout.com and he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org