As a Recruit
Chris Milton committed to Georgia Tech September 16, 2010, becoming the 14th member of the Jackets' 2011 class less than a month after the commitment of QB Vad Lee. He was rated a high three-star recruit by Rivals (5.7) and the 247Sports Composite rankings (.8665), and committed over an impressive list of offers, including those from Louisville, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. Milton was rated the #22 ATH in the nation and the #31 recruit in Georgia by Rivals, and the #29 ATH and #32 player in Georgia by 247Sports.
Milton played both offense and defense in high school, and actually preferred offense in his recruitment. He committed originally to play A-Back, although he got moved to the secondary early in his time at Georgia Tech.
On the Flats
Since redshirting in 2011, Milton has played in every single one of the Yellow Jackets' 41 games on defense and/or special teams, making 21 starts along the way. After spending the 2012 and 2013 seasons at safety (starting 7 games), he started at cornerback in all 14 of Georgia Tech's games last fall. Milton finished the season with 32 tackles and two interceptions, including one returned 62 yards for a touchdown against Clemson.
In general, Milton's done it all for the defense and special teams squads. He's played extensively in the secondary on defense, both at safety and cornerback. He's also played a lot of special teams, not only covering kickoffs and punts, but also in blocking three punts, a field goal, and an extra point over the last two seasons -- a testament to his impressive athleticism. He's even returned a couple of kickoffs at times when it was needed of him. Milton has been the definition of a utility man for Georgia Tech over the last three years, and he's continually gotten better over that stretch.
There are some things that, try as you might, you'll never be able to teach. Athleticism is one of them, and it tends to play a lot into college recruiting and NFL Draft. I say this because I think it applies heavily to Milton with regards to his NFL potential. Milton is an outstanding athlete -- fast, agile, good ball skills -- and that alone will create interest among NFL teams. As a cornerback, his skills need some polishing (which makes sense after only one year in the role), but his frame and physical ability bode extremely well for him at the next level if he's able to refine his techniques. At around 6'0" and 190 pounds, Milton's frame is about where NFL cornerbacks would be expected to be, and he'd he set up well to handle coverage of some of the league's growing wide receivers.
Long story short, Milton is in a good place right now with regards to a future in the NFL, but the 2015 season will be a huge one for him. If he can take the next step and polish those techniques and skills needed by cornerbacks, he'll be sitting pretty when the Draft rolls around next year.
Do you like Chris Milton's chances at playing in the NFL? Does he have the right combination of size and athleticism you'd look for in a cornerback? What are your expectations of him this fall?