Stanhope Elmore grad chosen No. 9 by New York JetsPublished 11:18am Thursday, April 25, 2013
***Updated 8:29 4/25: Dee Milliner was chosen as the No. 9 pick in the 2013 NFL Draft by the New York Jets.
“I’m excited. I want to thank God and my family for this opportunity,” Milliner, wearing a Jets hat told ESPN following his selection.
Milliner was the first defensive back taken in the draft, and the first of a string of University of Alabama players selected.
As a high school teacher, Jeff Foshee is used to getting up early. This morning, though, the alarm was set back a couple of hours.
Today is not going to be a normal day for the old football coach.
“I’m going to be there,” said Foshee.
Foshee, at soon-to-be a professional football player Dee Milliner’s behest, will be at Radio City Music Hall tonight when NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announces the former Mustang and Crimson Tide defensive back as a first-round selection in the National Football League Draft.
Milliner was originally projected by draft analysts to be a top five selection, probably going to Detroit, and will be one of four University of Alabama expected to go in the first round tonight.
“I just wanted to be able to contribute,” Milliner told The Herald following the National Championship Game. “From the younger days in high school, I never thought anything like this would happen to me. I’m glad to be a part of it.”
As of Wednesday NFL analyst Mike Mayock of the NFL Network had dropped Milliner to the No. 10 pick and moving to the Tennessee Titans.
While Milliner may not have realized his potential, Foshee did.
“I knew in high school that if he didn’t get hurt, he had the ability to play at the next level,” said Foshee. “He had his head on right. And he got in the books and did his school work. He has a great work ethic. Match that up with someone as athletic as he is, it makes for something special.”
Milliner played as a true freshman and ended his career as one of four UA selections on the First-Team All-SEC list and then was named an All-American in December with five other teammates.
“To see a guy playing for a school you love (Alabama) after having left from a school you love (Stanhope Elmore), it’s a lot of fun,” said Foshee. “Seeing him having the success he’s had is pretty special, too.”
Wearing a Tide uniform for the final time during the 2012 season, Milliner accounted for 51 total tackles, 30 passes defensed (18 bu / 20 pd) and two interceptions.
The most notable of his two interceptions came in the first game of the year against Michigan in Dallas. Milliner picked off a Denard Robinson pass and then subsequently ran through Shoelace on the return — sending the Wolverines quarterback to the locker room.
He ended the 2012 season as a finalist for the Jim Thorpe Award and the Bronko Nagurskit Award. His 18 pass break-ups led the nation.
“A lot of guys get to coach talented kids that never make it to the next level,” said Foshee. “Dee is my first and I’m going to take it all in.”
The 2013 NFL Draft is scheduled for tonight at 7 on ESPN. Rounds 2-3 will be broadcast Friday at 5:30 on ESPN and the final rounds are set to to be broadcast Saturday morning beginning at 11 a.m.