The Millikan football program has rarely been one to spark much attention from college recruiters, but in recent years things have changed under fourth year head coach Romeo Pellum.
Pellum organized the team’s first ever Spring College Showcase this past Wednesday, a practice with dozens of college coaches in attendance to witness the team’s talent first-hand. Coaches from schools like Alabama, Florida, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, and plenty more attended in hopes of scouting the next college star.
“For me, if anyone knows me, it’s about getting kids out,” Pellum said. “We put a lot of time in to make this day happen by reaching out to coaches and organizing it together. I think it was a great turn out.”
Starting quarterback Myles Jackson had all the eyes on him Wednesday evening, as he looked to show off his arm to the coaches in attendance. Jackson said he was calm the whole day and treated it like a normal practice.
“It’s a normal day for us,” said Jackson. “We hold ourselves to a high standard at practice. We play at a high pace every practice and it really prepared us for today to show these coaches what we’re really about.”
Jackson is coming fresh off his sophomore season, where he threw for 2,607 yards and 32 touchdowns. The soon-to-be junior has built up a lot of attention since stepping into high school, earning 18 scholarship offers in just two years.
“I feel blessed to be in this position.” Jackson said. “I’ve worked really hard for this so to see it pay off feels great. I’m also really happy for my teammates for getting their looks too.”
The event has already paid off for a few Millikan players who immediately pulled in new scholarship offers shortly after the showcase. Jackson picked up an offer from Washington, Class of ‘24 wide receiver Jordan Anderson got offers from Oregon State and Washington and Class of ‘25 lineman Jessie Wishon was offered by Colorado State and San Jose State.
Jackson says Pellum has made a big impact on him and his teammates, helping them get noticed from college coaches.
“Since I’ve been here, coach Pellum has really opened doors for a lot of kids,” Jackson said. “Especially here at Millikan, we haven’t really been known to be where other schools are as far as recruiting goes. I feel like he's really stepped it up and impacted the lives of a lot of kids here.”
Coach Pellum had a similar journey as his players, being around football for most of his life. Pellum said that being able to relate to the kids plays a big role in his push to help them out.
“A lot of these kids and their families don’t have money like that.” Pellum said. “I come from that same background, so, for me it’s about helping these kids get to college for free.”
Pellum was also born and raised in Long Beach, so helping out kids from his city makes his job all the more special.
“I’m a Long Beach guy through and through. Born at Long Beach Memorial, grew up on the North Side, so, I’m about Long Beach,” he said. “I’m a product of my environment, so I will always do what I can for Long Beach.”
Millikan played at a high level last year, reaching the playoffs before taking a first round loss to Camarillo. With new additions, the Rams have some goals on their mind ahead of the season.
“It’s very early, it’s still spring ball,” said Jackson. “We’re still getting better as we transition into summer, taking it one day at a time, one step at a time, one practice at a time, but, our goal is a ring. We want that ring.”
Millikan is also hosting a huge 7-on-7 “Tournament of Champions” event this Saturday at Vets. The biggest programs in Southern California like Long Beach Poly, St. John Bosco, Mater Dei, Servite, Corona Centennial, Sierra Canyon and more will participate, in hopes of being crowned the first place winner.