Pretty easy to write about Knox Central’s Ethan Mills. After all, we ranked him the 8th best football player in Kentucky’s Class of 2021. We have been big Ethan Mills fans from his days tearing up middle school football and starring, annually, for the various Team Kentuckys to which he was selected while playing at that level. You may also recall we selected him to the Freshman, All-State Football team a year ago. So when it comes to identifying talent (which all around relate KPGFootball to be almost singularly skilled at doing), it really should come as no surprise that KPGFootball is virtually an online tribute to one of the most explosive and capable running backs playing Class 4A football across Kentucky today. So, how’s he doing his sophomore season? Is he slumping, like we have heard so many sophomores are prone to do? Well…no!
Mills has run the ball from scrimmage this year 135 times, gaining 891 yards in 8 games for an average around 111 yards per contest. For the statistical junkies out there like us, Mills is averaging 6.6 yards a carry and has also scored 10 rushing TDs on the year (so far). For a guy coming off an All-State Freshman campaign where he gained 644 yards in 91 carries, with 9 rushing TDs, and averaged around 7 yards a carry in limited opportunities playing behind a 1,263 yard running back (Jermel Carton) a season ago, his numbers are particularly impressive. After all, Ethan is, undeniably, a focal point for the Panther offense this year and a focal point of the opponent’s weekly scouting reports. The fact Ethan is an offensive emphasis, in 2018, for Knox Central has come as a surprise to exactly no one. Factor this into your computations of whether you are impressed with Ethan’s production in 2018…Ethan has carried the ball 135 of the team’s total 186 rushing attempts, and he has gained 891 of the team’s total 1,094 ground yards. So the Panther’s are handing the ball to Mills nearly 73% of the time and he has gained over 81% of the team’s total amount of yards rushing. Translation…every opponent on the schedule knows, when running the ball, that No. 5 is getting it. In spite of this, Ethan has still gained over 100 yards a game in his team’s first 8 games, has still scored 10 rushing TDs, and has still averaged 6.6 yards every time he has touched the football, so far.
There is a secret to the success Ethan Mills has enjoyed running the football in the Panther offense, aside from his just having a running back’s vision and instinct. Ethan works very hard in the offseason building strength, power, and explosion. Though only 5-8, Ethan weighs 173 pounds and has been timed in the 40 yard dash at 4.55 seconds. Ethan’s elusiveness comes from his incredible spacial quickness and change of direction speed exhibited by his 4.2 second pro-agility shuttle (5-10-5). Ethan bench presses 235 pounds (builds strength for the stiff arm), back squats 390 pounds (develops explosion and core strength), and power cleans 225 pounds (develops explosion and core strength).
Maybe the most important thing Ethan has done, while in High School, is help lead his Panthers to 14 wins out of the 20 high school games in which he has played (8-4 in 2017, 6-2 so far this year). His Panthers are 6-2 so far in 2018 with an away game remaining with Rockcastle County before coming back home to play Corbin. Last year, the Panthers split those two games, beating Rockcastle 31-8 at home before losing to Corbin, in Corbin, 36-21. KPGFootball is reasonably confident about these two things…1. Coach Hoskins would love to slide into the playoffs 8-2 with two big wins, including a home triumph over last year’s State-finalist in Class 3A and highly regarded, Corbin and 2. Coach Hoskins will be leaning heavily on his spark-plug of a workhorse, Ethan Mills, to give the Panthers a chance to achieve such a favorable and desired outcome.
Reporting for KPGFootball, this is Fletcher Long reminding all of you ballers out there that #WeGotUCovered and to PLAY THROUGH THE WHISTLE.
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