IRVING, Texas —
“Everybody likes to carry the ball,” Millard said. “I’d definitely like those opportunities if they came my way.”
Those opportunities could be the difference in Millard returning to OU for his senior season.
However, Millard knows there’s no guarantee of a lengthy pro career. The junior fullback asked the NFL underclassmen committee for a draft grade. Millard said the reply was vague.
“It just comes back in the top three rounds or not in the top three rounds,” he said. “I was not in the top three.”
Fullbacks rarely are. The salary cap era has relegated the position to one where just about all who fill the job make the league minimum salary. And it’s cheaper for teams to grab one out of college every two or three years than pay a five-year veteran more money.
Of course, the ability to play several offensive positions as well as special teams, could make Millard indispensable with NFL teams only having 45 players on their game-day rosters.
“They have to consider the punishment their bodies are taking,” OU wide receiver Kenny Stills said. “Their careers are cut a little bit short than the rest of ours — even though ours are pretty short, too. He’s got a lot of stuff to consider.”
The decision Millard can’t go back on is the one to be fullback. The 6-foot-2, 256-pound junior was going to get a scholarship just about anywhere he wanted to go after his senior at Rock Bridge High School in Columbia, Mo. Most schools saw him as potential linebacker or defensive end.
“It used to be fashionable to play a guy like Trey on the offensive side of the ball,” Heupel said. “More and more of them are playing defense.”
Millard chose OU because they were more than willing to use him as a fullback. It’s too late for Millard to go back on that decision. But what happens against Texas A&M could be telling for Millard’s future. Clearly, he’s no longer just a simple lead blocker or an occasional pass catcher.