Inexperience at the position could lead to Mills carrying the vast majority of the load for Nebraska Football in 2020.
In precisely thirteen days, the Nebraska football team will begin training camp. The camp will allow for more on-the field-work than what has been allowed to this point. Sure, a study of the offensive and defensive breakdowns is tremendous. It does wonders for the players to be able to soak up the knowledge needed to further understand the schemes the coaching staff plans to put in place, At the same time, nothing quite compares to the popping of pads in live-action.
The Huskers have hit the recruiting trail hard to bring in much-needed depth on both sides of the ball at multiple positions. However, while fresh faces bring a new-found sense of urgency to those already present on the roster, it can also force the veteran players into a leadership type role.
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The running back spot for Nebraska certainly has a lot of new faces in the mix. With a majority of them being freshman, I look for Dedrick Mills in his senior season, to step up his game not only on the field but also off of it as well. I hope he looks to embrace becoming a leader amongst his position group. In this way, Mills could leave knowing he left more than just a gaudy stat line, but also , a blueprint forward for those waiting in the wings.
It has been discussed ad nauseam about what Mills did against Wisconsin last season, so I won’t drive much further into that. In case you don’t remember, Mills finished last season with 745 yards rushing and 10 touchdowns.
After one season in the scarlet and cream, his stats are not far off from his lone season at Georgia Tech, where he ran for 771 yards and capped that season off with 12 touchdowns in 2016. In addition, according the running back had a 118-yard day on the ground against Northern Illinois marking his first 100-yard game at Nebraska.
The I-Back continued his production in primetme recording the only score in the Ohio State beatdown of the Cornhuskers. He finished with 67 rushing yards on 11 carries.
His performances against quality competition shows room for growth. With the amount of inexperience at the position coupled with COVID hindering the reps that the young backs would have seen during a typical season, Mills, as I suspect, will be leaned on heavily to carry the load.
This rings true as Nebraska would prefer to use Wan’Dale Robinson more as a receiver this season. All these factors, barring injury, point to Mills having a monster year in 2020. The tread on a running backs tires always gives a cause for pause. Luckily for Mills, he passed the 1,000-yard career mark just last season.
Mills will have a 1,000-yard season this year, as long as a season happens.
Will Mills be the first since Devine Ozigbo in 2018 to have a 1,000-yard season on the ground? Only time will tell. Let’s hope he can help show the young pups what it takes to be a hard-working back at a program that helped pioneer the value of the position.