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Everybody seems to want to talk to Corey Millhouse about his future. Coaches, family and friends constantly pepper the Hamden Hall senior about his college options. It’s become part of his daily routine.
“So where you going now?” Millhouse says, paraphrasing the most common query he hears in the hallways. “Right now, I just don’t know.”
To be fair, it’s not often a high school athlete has such appealing options in multiple major college sports.
Earlier this year he made a verbal agreement with Virginia’s men’s lacrosse team, a five-time NCAA champion. Since then, Yale and Harvard have produced standing offers for him to join their football teams. Millhouse loves the idea of playing both sports, ideally at Virginia or Yale.
Notre Dame is among the others interested in his football services. Alabama has seen Millhouse’s highlight reel, too. Hamden Hall football coach Joe Linta, an NFL agent with heavy college connections at the best programs, personally reviewed Millhouse’s film with a prominent member of the Crimson Tide’s coaching staff.
“I did it for my own edification,” Linta said. “Alabama isn’t going to offer a kid from the Northeast with a 1,400 SAT score knowing he’s not really interested in going there. But I represent (former Alabama and current New England cornerback) Cyrus Jones. And Corey is faster than he is.”
College lacrosse had been Millhouse’s main objective for some time. Although he’s played football longer — he, along with close friend and current Notre Dame-West Haven star Nico Ragaini, were members of the East Haven Youth Football team that reached the 2010 national championship in Orlando.
As a junior at Hamden Hall, Millhouse posted outstanding numbers as a receiver, defensive back and return man. Yet he believed his size would keep college coaches away. An offseason strength program helped him add 16 pounds to his 5-foot-10 frame. Millhouse weighed in at 182 pounds this week.
And then, in the spring, he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.37 seconds. By comparison, only five prospects at April’s NFL Combine recorded a faster time. Robert Griffin III, a former Heisman Trophy winner and NCAA track champion, ran a 4.41 at the 2012 Combine. Tavon Austin of the Rams, considered one of the fastest wide receivers in the NFL, ran a 4.34.
“If he went to a (college showcase) camp this spring and ran that time he’d have 35 offers,” Linta said. “But he was always focusing on lacrosse and not so much this. He’s only just realizing now how good he is at football.”
Millhouse had 37 receptions for 697 yards and nine touchdowns as a sophomore. Last fall, he increased the output to 46 catches for 1,010 yards (an average of 22 yards-per catch) with 14 touchdowns while intercepting five passes for 204 yards in returns.
In a season-opening win over Capitol Prep Harbor of Bridgeport last weekend, Millhouse caught four passes for 211 yards and touchdowns of 55 and 76 yards. His speed and ability to change direction on a dime make him nearly impossible to catch in the open field.
The state landscape is littered with public and prep school players heading to Power Five programs. Linta, a player and coach at Yale before becoming a sports agent, has made a living finding off-the-radar talent for NFL teams. His most notable triumph was discovering a virtually unknown quarterback at Delaware named Joe Flacco, who has since signed the richest contract in league history twice.
Linta is an expert at talent evaluation. Millhouse, he says, compares favorably to any blue-chip prospect around.
“There’s no one in the state quicker or faster,” Linta said. “Is he the best player in the state? That depends on how you define it. But there’s no one more dynamic. If there’s someone in the state more dynamic in the return game and receiving game, you show him to me.”
For his part, Millhouse has lofty expectations from college suitors. In addition to his SAT scores, he maintains a 4.0 cumulative grade-point average. A top-notch education is every bit as important as the right athletic match, and he’s been pursued by every school in the Ivy League.
At the onset of summer, he was intent on taking the offer from Virginia. Big-time football is opening new doors every day. He’s especially intrigued by the chance to attend school in his backyard, playing in the Yale Bowl each autumn and competing for a national title with the Bulldogs’ lacrosse team in the spring.
The pros and cons run through his head nightly. Lacrosse, football or both? ACC or Ivy League? Seven hours from home or 15 minutes down the road? The decision, he’s come to realize, is a daunting task.
“My brother says I have the pick of the litter and can do what I want,” Millhouse said. “Options are great, but it’s hard. I’m not sure what I want to do yet. My mind was made up in the summer. Now, I don’t know.”
The daily questions will surely continue. Those interested must wait a bit longer for an answer. Just know the final decision was not made in haste.