Last years Minutemenaissance was two pronged last year: The addition of Blake Frohapfel, and the addition of Jean Sifrin at tight end. While Jean Sifrin dominated the middle and gave the defense something to focus on besides Tajae Sharpe, Blake Frohnapfel threw touchdowns and compiled stats that made the scoreboard spin. As Jean Sifrin left for the draft, a tight end shape hole formed in the Minutemen's roster. That's where Rodney Mills steps in.
While Jean Sifrin left some big shoes to fill (obligatory this), Rodney Mills comes in with a good deal of hype this season. Now a senior, Mills logged first team all-MAC nods by both Phil Steele and Athalon sports. The hype may be spot on too. While Jean Sifrin was jumping to the front pages, Rodney Mills was quietly putting up stat lines that most teams would kill for.
Last season, Rodney Mills played all 12 games, and started seven. In those seven starts, Mills hauled in 30 catches for 489 yards. His yardage total was 4th in the MAC and tied for fourth in receptions. Even better, he was second in yards per catch with 16.9 ypc, and third in touchdowns with five. If not for Sifrin, Rodney Mills would be one of the best known tight ends in the MAC. as it stands, he's primed to see his name in lights this season. And as for being able to be a target in the red zone:
At 6 foot two, 215 pounds, Mills as the height and the body to create space in the red zone. With the receiving options on UMass right now being Tajae Sharpe and Tajae Sharpe, you better believe the Rodney Mills is going to see his fair share of chances to make his name a household topic. If Mills picks up just 25% of Sifrin's receptions, he'd have a line of 40-640-6, which, as luck would have it, the same line Sifrin put up last year that had him entering the NFL draft. Its the second year of the Minutemenaissance, and Rodney Mills isn't going to go quietly into the night this time around.