At 6-foot-1 and 187 pounds, Kendall Milton isn’t your typical eighth grader.
And with an impressive 4.6-second 40-yard dash and countless accolades and national recognition, the Alta Sierra running back isn’t your typical football player.
Milton was recently named MVP at the USA International Bowl in Dallas on Feb. 3 and next month he’ll head to Rivals Top 100 Camp, a football recruiting camp usually attended by elite high school football players.
Milton just turned 14.
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His birthday came just a week after the international bowl, where he went up against the best under-14 athletes in the nation, said his father, Chris Milton.
“He scored five touchdowns in the game and had something like 293 total rushing yards,” Chris said. “He actually threw a pass for 49 yards as well, so he had a pretty good game.
“He walked away with the MVP award, so I’d say he’s representing Clovis pretty well.”
At age 13, Milton was offered a full-ride scholarship to play football for Brigham Young University. He also won the Tony Dorsett Award for being the top running back in the nation for the Class of 2020, Chris said.
“My dream school would be LSU or Alabama,” Kendall said. “And my dream NFL team to play for would probably the (Seattle) Seahawks.”
Football is in his genes.
Milton is the nephew of former NFL linebacker Kevin Hardy, a Butkus Award winner and the No.2 overall pick in the 1996 NFL draft. Hardy played for the Jacksonville Jaguars, Dallas Cowboys and Cincinnati Bengals during his eight years in the NFL, Chris said.
Milton’s older brother, KaLonn, plays football for Fresno City College.
Milton started playing football as a running back and strong safety as a first grader through the Central California Youth Football League, Chris said.
“His older brother always played football, so Kendall was always on the football field emulating his big brother. He was digesting everything he saw his brother do,” Chris said. “And because he was always around older kids, when he began to play he played at a higher level.”
Milton and the Alta Sierra teams have excelled; they went undefeated in their seventh- and eighth-grade seasons.
“I’ve been playing with the same people for a long time so we have a good team chemistry,” Kendall said. “During the season we were always having fun when we were playing.”
He said he enjoys his position as running back because of the special bonds he’s formed with the linemen and quarterback.
“They’ll be strong at Buchanan (High School),” said his father, Chris. “This whole team that is coming up, they’ve played together since second grade. They know each other’s tendencies and are one big family.”
Kendall maintains a 3.5 GPA, is in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and prays before each game.
“He’s a humble kid,” Chris said. “He scored probably 30 touchdowns this season, but he just hands the ball to the referee and then gets back in there. He’s not an arrogant athlete.”
That’s good to hear about a kid whose name is already nationally recognized among football recruiters. Milton dreams of a long NFL career.
“I hope that I’ll be able to last long and be remembered as a great player,” he said.