To examine the San Francisco 49ers 12-man NFL Draft class, 49ers.com checked in with a college coach of each pick. We continue our series with...
Also known as
The former Oklahoma fullback, selected by San Francisco in the seventh-round of the draft, has more than a killer nickname. The 6-foot-2, 247-pound jack-of-all-trades has the kind of versatility that made him a popular player for the Sooners.
“Everyone in this area knows I’m his biggest fan,” Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops told 49ers.com. “In my mind, he was the most important guy we had the past couple of years on our team. It was not just because of leadership, but because of all the different positions he played, and he’d been our best special teams guy over the past few years as well.”
Millard suffered a torn ACL in his left knee on Oct. 26 and is currently on San Francisco’s Active/Non-Football Injury List. He is one of three 2014 draft picks rehabbing a major knee injury with the team’s strength and conditioning staff.
Millard rushed 98 times for 578 yards and posted six rushing touchdowns for the Sooners between the 2010 and 2013 seasons. He added 70 receptions for 677 yards and seven more touchdowns as a receiver, too.
It’s not known when Millard will make his NFL debut. But here is what we do know after a phone call with Stoops.
“We thought he had a great shot to be a special player,” Stoops said. “You don’t get many guys who are that big that can move, can run the football and have soft hands to catch the football and can block. You can put him on the move and block. He can play fullback, H-back, tight end – we saw a big, incredible athlete who can do so many things.”
“He was a great worker with his strength and conditioning through the years,” Stoops said. “Year by year, it just got better. As far as on the field, he was always really natural with everything. He was a guy we’d leave back there in a one-back set, and he was fine carrying the ball. You could put him on the line and he could block; you could put him at the fullback spot and he was great out of the backfield. He was natural at all of those things, but the strength and the physical abilities continue to improve as he got older.”
“He had a 70-yard run against Kansas State,” Stoops said. “That was pretty special. Also, two years ago, he caught a ball out of the backfield, hurdles a guy and then knocks another guy over against Texas. He went for about 60 yards on that play. He’s got the ability to make those kinds of plays.”
“I called him the day of the draft and congratulated him,” Stoops said. “I told him, ‘I don’t think you could have gone to a better fit – to a team that fits you better.’ I’ve been around coach Harbaugh and watching him from afar – they value physical guys. They value fullback, H-backs, tight ends in how they play. He can play all of those positions, and he’s incredibly smart. I think they’re really going to appreciate all of the things he can do.”