Rising sophomore Dedrick Mills had a great freshman season, with all eyes on him in 2017, Mills has a chance to hit the national stage in 2017.
When Georgia Tech and Tennessee hit the field at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Labor Day, expect to hear announcers talking about Dedrick Mills quite a bit. It probably can be expected for most Georgia Tech games in 2017 with all things considered.
Last season, Mills saw time in nine games and rushed for 771-yards and 12 touchdowns over 151 carriers. Mills for most of the season was in the rotation, never really becoming the featured back. Through his first eight games of 2016, Mills saw about 15 carries a game.
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Then came the Yellow Jackets bowl game against Kentucky. With Marcus Marshall no longer part of the program, after announcing his transfer, Mills became the featured back. In that game, Mills showed all his potential. In the TaxSlayer Bowl, Mills had 31 rushing attempts for 169-yards, the seventh best total during the college football bowl season according to Mills, Georgia Tech profile.
In 2017, Mills will have the opportunity to break out onto the national stage. Obviously, Mills best opportunity to do so will be on Labor Day. The Jackets take on The Tennessee Volunteers in prime time on ESPN. It will be a great opportunity to do so as Tennessee allowed a staggering 231.7 yards on the ground per game last season.
If Mills can have a big game on Labor Day, it could vault him into national stardom right away. That being said, even if he doesn’t, 2017 will provide ample opportunities for Mills. The Yellow Jackets will get to take on the defending National Champions. Clemson last year ranked in the top 25 but still allowed 125.8 yards on average. In a game that will be televised on national television, Mills will be provided with a tremendous opportunity, Miami, another game that will be nationally televised most likely comes to mind.
The Yellow Jackets and Mills will both have plenty of opportunities to impress on the national stage. At 5-foot-10 and 217-pounds, Mills provides a running back who has great speed but could also run over defenders and punish would be tacklers. If all goes to plan for Georgia Tech in 2017, Mills could very well be the first Yellow Jacket running back to rush for 1,000-yards since Anthony Allen in 2010.
Ultimately, Mills should be one of the best running backs in college football next season and should be in the running for ACC offensive player of the year. Being named to Athlon’s Preseason All-ACC First team was a good indication of Mill’s potential to breakout onto the national stage in 2017.