High School Football

A trust in a running back coach sealed Kendall Milton’s commitment to Georgia

It is Georgia for Buchanan High star running back Kendall Milton.

Milton made his oral commitment to the Southeastern Conference program in front of family and friends Monday at Dave & Buster’s in northeast Fresno.

“I trust (running back) coach (Dell) McGee and trusted everything he’s done in the past and everything he plans to do in the future,” Milton said. “Georgia has set an unbelievable line in front of me. It’s a great opportunity and I’m excited to roam through the hedges and win a natty (national championship).”

Georgia has four commitments from offensive line players for the 2020 Class.

Milton, rated a five-star recruit by 247Sports, had previously said his top four schools were Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana State and Ohio State. He said he made the decision two weeks ago.

Last June, Milton announced his top-10 schools and listed Fresno State as one of his favorites.

The 6-foot-2, 223-pound Milton completes a journey that started with a scholarship offer from Brigham Young when he was in the eighth grade at Alta Sierra Intermediate.

McGee has shown what he can do as a running back coach helping former Bulldogs stars Nick Chubb, Sony Michel, D’Andre Swift and Elijah Holyfield to 1,000 yards season in his three seasons as an assistant.

Chubb is with the Cleveland Browns and Michel with the New England Patriots. Holyfield, the son of former world champion Evander Holyfield, is on the 90-man roster with the Carolina Panthers.

Swift will be a senior when Milton arrives on campus in Athens.

Other former Georgia alumni who reached the NFL include current star Todd Gurley of the Los Angeles Rams and former Dallas Cowboys star Herschel Walker.

“I want to go to a school that takes my position as serious as possible,” Milton said. “I’m excited to put my name with some of the greats like that.”

Milton is gearing up for the 2019 season with his Buchanan teammates as practice started in the Central Section on Monday.

Bears coach Matt Giordano, who played in the NFL with the Indianapolis Colts for three seasons and Oakland Raiders for two, is excited for his running back.

“We’re happy for him and the family,” he said. “This is a big moment for anybody’s life to have those choices he had and it’s pretty exciting.”

Milton’s father, Chris, praised Alabama, Louisiana State and Ohio State for bringing in his son.

“I don’t want to downplay any other schools,” he said. “They presented a great opportunity, great coaching staff, just a great environment. We just looked at all the boxes, Georgia checked all the boxes for him. It’s a fit for him, looking at opportunity, looking at the business school and life after football and alumni that worked. Everything just felt right for him.”

Milton is already invited to the 2020 Under Armour All-American Game, which features the top-100 players in the nation.

He also was invited to the All-American Bowl, a national all-star game for high school seniors, in San Antonio in 2020. San Joaquin Memorial wide receiver Jalen McMillan, who already committed to University of Washington, is going to that game, too.

The Georgia 2020 class features two other five-star recruits in other positions, according to 247Sports. As a whole, the Bulldogs check in No. 5 nationally in recruiting.

“It is a blessing,” Milton said. “I never expected to be one those kids that was highly recruited and talk to Nick Saban, Kirby Smart. Every coach. Urban Meyer, Ryan Day. I never thought I would be one of those kids, but God blessed me to be in this position and I’ve been working every day to get better and improve my craft and play for him.”

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Anthony Galaviz writes about sports for The Fresno Bee. He covers the Oakland Raiders, high schools, boxing, MMA and junior colleges. He’s been with The Bee since 1997 and attended Fresno City College before graduating from Fresno State with a major in journalism and a minor in criminology.