N.C Central Defensive Back Bryan Mills defending Wide Receiver. Photo Courtesy of NCCU’s Director of Sport’s Information Kyle Serba.

NCCU football player Bryan Mills decides to postpone school and head straight to the NFL draft

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N.C. Central University football standout Bryan Mills has decided to forgo his senior season and enter the 2021 NFL draft. 

 “It’s perfect timing, a lot of NFL scouts like my size, stats, and skillset,” Mills said.

According to the NCCU Athletics website, Mills received a number of accolades in the 2019 season.

According to the website, Mills earned First Team All-MEAC (top players in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference), American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) FCS Coaches All-America team (top players in Football Championship Subdivision), and Boxtorow All-America team (top HBCU players).   

Along with those accolades Mills also tied the record for interceptions in one game for NCCU football.

 Mills, a Palmdale, Calif. native, was recruited by NCCU Associate Head Coach Juan Navarro after playing at College of the Canyons, a junior college located in Santa Clarita, Calif.

Navarro explained that he recruited Mills after talking to one of his colleagues who coached for College of the Canyons. 

Navarro described Mills as “lengthy, physical, calm, and with great overall knowledge of the game of football”.

 Josh Kea, Mills’ close friend, said that Mills is sociable and is a jokester.   

“He’s pretty much an outgoing person, always cracking jokes and having fun,” Kea said.

“Most people that don’t know him think he’s shy, but don’t let that fool you.”

Navarro explained that although he will miss Mills as a football player and a person, he fully supports Mills chasing his dream.

 Mills explained that despite the support he has gotten from his family, friends, and coaches, the decision was his own to make.

“It was mostly a self-motivated goal,” said Mills.

He went on to say that he is still a student at NCCU and works out frequently as he prepares for the draft.

Mills explained he will not return to NCCU for the 2021 spring semester because he wants to focus on football. However, he said that he will return for the 2021 summer semester to finish his degree.    

“I’m actually going to take a break from academics, ” he said.  “I’m going to come back in the summer to finish up my four classes because I am a little burnt out.”

“So right now, is the perfect time for me to call it quits for a little bit.”

Mills said the pandemic gave him time to rest and spend time with his loved ones.

“It actually gave me a break,” he said.

“Physically I feel a lot better and I was able to see my family the majority of the time so it was a great break for me.”

Mills explained the most stressful part of his journey so far was picking an agency to represent him.

“It was stressful and overwhelming,” said Mills. 

“I had to really do my homework on the agencies to pick the best one that fits my morals and how I want to be represented.”

Mills said he decided to go with U.S Sports Management which is based in Charlotte, N.C. He explained that he chose them because he liked their morals and their “laid back” approach when dealing with clients.

Mills said he is currently preparing for the Reese’s Senior Bowl. The Reese’s Senior Bowl is a “post-season college football all-star game that showcases the best NFL draft prospects of those players who have completed their college eligibility,” according to a statement on the organization’s website.

 Reese’s Senior Bowl will take place on Jan. 30, 2021. 

Mills said that he knows exactly what he needs to work on to prepare for the Senior Bowl and draft.    

“Right now, I need to put on a lot of upper body strength, lower body strength, increase my speed and gain weight,” said Mills. “My goal is to be 195lbs, right now, I’m 185lbs.”

Mills explained that because he hasn’t played football in a year he is a little “jittery” to play.

Mills said he will miss NCCU and hopes he will be remembered for his work ethic.

“I just want people to remember I was a hard worker,” he said. 

“I came in and did my job.” 

 

  

 

 

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