The562’s coverage of Millikan athletics in the 2022-23 school year is sponsored by Curtis Boyer.
During last week’s 49-21 playoff win over Saugus High, the Millikan offense needed exactly one drive to find its rhythm. By their second possession, the Rams were fully in sync, rattling off 49 unanswered points as they cruised into the second round of the CIF-SS playoffs.
As the points piled up and the margin on the scoreboard grew wider, it wasn’t just the Saugus defense that was under assault. So too was the Moore League record book, which was being rewritten in real time by Millikan junior quarterback Myles Jackson–in the midst of one of the most prolific statistical seasons the league has ever seen.
“He makes the offense go,” said Millikan head coach Romeo Pellum. “We have a great scheme, but a guy with his arm talent, you can see what a player like him can do in an offense like this. He’s shattered the numbers. I think he’s one of the best quarterbacks in the country in his class, and he’s showing that this year.”
Jackson threw for 234 yards and 4 TDs against Saugus, his sixth consecutive game with at least 4 passing TDs. That brought his season totals to 3,357 yards and 45 touchdowns, surpassing the records previously held by Long Beach Poly’s Chris Lewis, who threw for 3,170 yards and 43 scores as a senior in 1998 while being named the Gatorade National Player of the Year.
“He understands the game at such a high level,” said Millikan offensive coordinator Angel Molina of Jackson. “He understands the game plan that we put together as a coaching staff and what we're trying to do, whether it's run scheme or pass scheme. And he's very involved when it comes to play calling because he watches a good amount of film … He's very communicative, very coachable, and at times he's a little too smart for his own good, but he works really hard on his craft.”
Nothing Was The Same
Jackson’s first season at Millikan was nothing to be ashamed of–especially for a 10th grader–but it’s clear that Jackson has taken a big step forward in 2022. His completion percentage is up from 53 percent to 66 percent, he’s averaging nearly 100 more passing yards per game, all while throwing more touchdowns (45-32) and fewer interceptions (7-10).
He’s also doubled his rushing yards on fewer carries, running it more selectively and effectively, averaging 5.0 yards per carry with 7 rushing touchdowns on the season. He worked to improve his speed in the offseason and has come back as a more complete player, one that’s better prepared for the next level.
“It was a big focus for me,” said Jackson of improving his mobility during the offseason. “I knew that that was going to be the next step in taking my game to another level. It's a lot more popular now to have a guy who can throw and run and be able to create more time, and I felt like by doing that, it makes myself more marketable to coaches. That's definitely the feedback I've been getting from coaches that came down for our Spring Showcase. They saw I've been putting in the work and it's really helped my game this year.”
College recruiters have certainly taken notice. Jackson has more than 20 scholarship offers from marquee programs in the SEC, Pac-12, ACC, and more. He’s regarded as a four-star prospect in the Class of 2024 and is a Top 25 quarterback in his class according to 247Sports.
If You’re Reading This, It’s Too Late
The growth and development hasn’t just been physical for Jackson. He’s also grown in the mental side of the game and become more adept at reading defenses and setting his team up for success.
“Being a QB is very cerebral; learning the offense and the defense and diving deep into the playbook and film,” Jakson explained. “I definitely have future aspirations of being a coach. I really love all aspects of the game. Coach Angel has given me a little bit of responsibility as a quarterback and as a captain to where if I see something, I’m able to make the adjustments. He trusts me, there's mutual trust there, and that's pretty special.”
In fact, as his career has gone on, Jackson has been able to successfully identify tendencies mid-game, resulting in successful audibles that never make it to the coach’s headset.
In a recent regular season game, Jackson made a pre-snap read of a blitz coming from the weak-side linebacker. He quickly made an audible, moving running back Jaden Hunt to the opposite side where the strong-side linebacker would have a tougher time getting across the formation to cover him. Sure enough, Hunt ran a seam route away from his defender and Jackson found him for a touchdown.
The dissection continued against Saugus, when Jackson would come back to the sidelines after every series with ideas on how to best attack their defense.
“It's been awesome to see him grow, especially his vision,” said Molina. “A lot of his success has come because of his hard work and dedication to understand the game.”
Coach Pellum has been impressed with Jackson’s growth from freshman year until now. He says his understanding of the playbook has really taken off, as well as his ability to lead the team as the signal-caller and team captain.
“He's very comfortable. He's grown into himself and grown into that coach on the field,” Pellum said. “In that position that he's in now, he makes sure that he's on time and he's early. He makes sure he's doing everything right. He's more so leading by example, but he's also vocal. So it's everything you want in a quarterback. He's the full package.”
Since he was four years old, Jackson knew he wanted to be a quarterback. Growing up in Oxnard, he idolized Drew Brees–and still wears his No. 9–and he understood what it was like to be an undersized QB. Prior to hitting a helpful growth spurt which put him at a more optimal 6-foot-2, Jackson was a slower, undersized QB who played with a bit of a chip on his shoulder.
“I never played another position ever. This is who I am, you know, it’s my passion,” he said. “So just growing into myself as a quarterback, as a person, and discovering my true identity as a player, it was really important.”
Jackson grew up around elite quarterbacks like Utah’s Cameron Rising and former Long Beach Poly and Ole Miss QB Matt Corral, who were actually both QB’s on the same youth team back in the day. Jackson had the opportunity to work out with Corral as a younger player and said he’s followed his career through his time at Poly and now in the NFL.
“I kind of look up to him in that respect, and how I could really leave a mark on this place,” said Jackson. “I'm not necessarily from here, but I feel like Long Beach is such a special place. It's welcomed me as one of its own and I'm really blessed to have this opportunity.”
Outside of his own football journey, Jackson said he has plans to give back to kids who are less fortunate than he was growing up. He’s working on creating a nonprofit which would help provide clothes, pads, and other football equipment to young players in need.
Until then, he’s busy rewriting record books, and he’s already on track to be Millikan’s all-time leader in passing yards, touchdowns, and every other category imaginable for a quarterback. But in the words of Drake, one of Jackson’s favorite artists, “They don’t have no award for that.”
There is a trophy waiting at the end of the CIF-SS Division 4 playoffs, however, and Jackson and the Rams are now three wins away from bringing Millikan its third CIF football championship and first since 1979. Their postseason journey continues this Friday at 7 p.m. as the Rams host undefeated Cypress at DeHaven Stadium.
All-time records and statistics provided by CalHiSports.com.