When Dedrick Mills finished his career with the Nebraska football team, he likely didn’t think the years post-Lincoln would lead him to Calgary. However, the running back stay with the CFL’s Stampeders, could end up giving him a second life in professional football.
After leaving the Nebraska football program after 2021, Mills was able to hook on with the Detroit Lions as an undrafted free agent. That allowed him to learn from some pretty good NFL running backs like D’Andre Swift and Jamaal Williams.
However, in fall camp, Mills ended up being one of the players that was cut as the team got down to its final 53-man roster. “That made me even more hungry to dig deep and get myself an opportunity,” Mills recently told the Lincoln Journal Star.
Unfortunately, the former Nebraska football back stayed hungry for a while as no other NFL teams came calling. He said he spent his days just waiting for the right team to call and working out. He wanted to make sure he was in shape if and when a team showed interest.
Eventually, it wasn’t an NFL team that gave him a chance, it was the CFL’s Calgary Stampeders. He got that opportunity a year ago this month. He was mostly a backup last season but put up some impressive numbers despite playing in just six games. He finished with 67 carries for 459 yards and two touchdowns. This year, he’s expected to see even more work.
Former Nebraska football star looking to make a mark
Mills also seems to be really enjoying being in Canada. Period. Not just playing in the CFL but the communities that surround the league.
"“I enjoy being out here; there’s some real people out here, and I just love their attitudes that people wake up every day with a smile on their face. This was the position I always wanted to be in — it was always a dream of mine and now that I’m here I’m taking full advantage of it.”"
Mills will officially start his second regular season with Calgary on June 8th. It might be worth some sports’ starved Nebraska football fans’ time to give the Stampeders a follow.