Sept. 19, 2012
By Mark Janssen
MANHATTAN, Kan. - Jarard Milo is realizing his dream.
“I used to come watch my brother play as a 5-year-old and saying, ‘I want that to be me,’ ” said the Wildcat senior safety.
Today, it is him as his dream has turned to reality.
Milo is yet another of those walk-on to starting status stories in the Kansas State football camp. He was “recruited a little” out of Olathe North High School where he played defense, but also rushed for over 500 yards in both his junior and senior seasons.
Then after a 20-game career at Butler County Community College he was “recruited a little” more.
With his brother, Brian Goolsby, being a star fullback for the Wildcats from 1995-1998, “… the decision was made through conversations with him. I grew up as a Wildcat. It was my dream to play here.”
While saying that his brother was his favorite player, he also remembers Michael Bishop on offense and Lamar Chapman on defense, and “… how the defense ran to the ball. I loved their tempo and how everyone was family.”
Yes, even at the age of five or six, Milo said with a laugh, “I’ve always been a football player. I looked for those things.”
Milo served as a special teams player last year when he saw action in 12 games and recorded eight tackles, which included two against Oklahoma and Texas A&M.
Heading into the 2012 fall camp, most were considering Milo to be a backup for Thomas Ferguson at safety replacing departed senior Tysyn Hartman.
That however changed entering the season opener against Missouri State.
“They told me on Thursday that I was going to start,” said Milo, a 6-foot-2, 197-pounder. “Now I want to make the most of my opportunity.”
Milo has done just that, starting with the Missouri State game when he led the team in tackles with 10, which included seven solo arrests. In the last two games he’s added another dozen tackles upping his total to 22, which is second on the team only to Arthur Brown’s 28.
“I’ve been all right, but I wouldn’t say the best. I know I can play better,” said Milo, whose 22 tackles ranks second in the Big 12 Conference among defensive backs. “I’m getting my feet wet and getting more experience each week. I know I have a lot of room for improvement.”
Of ranking high on the team, not to mention the Big 12, in tackles, Milo said, “I don’t pay attention to that. I just try to do my job and give it up for the guys.”
Milo credits his improvement to learning through playing behind Hartman last year, and along-side Ty Zimmerman in this year’s starting lineup.
“I’m like both of them, but with differences,” said Milo. “What I do best is tackling and trying to cover the deep ball. I don’t want to let the ball get over the top.”
That will be a challenge Saturday in the 6:50 p.m., kickoff against No. 6/5-ranked Oklahoma. It was a year ago that the Sooners broke open a 23-17 halftime contest with 35 unanswered points in the second half for a 58-17 victory.
The Sooners finished with 690 yards of offense with QB Landry Jones passing for 505 yards and five touchdowns.
“He’s one of the best in the Big 12, but all we can do about that is prepare our best game plan and try to come out and stop him,” said Milo of OU’s Jones, who was 35-of-47 passing in the game. “We’ve been improving so we want to come out and compete as well as we can. It’s still early, but I think we’ve done the best that we could and we’re getting better each week.”
Of last year’s score, and in particular the second half when OU scored those 35 second-half points all by the 11:03 mark of the fourth quarter, Milo said, “Last year is last year. This year we want to come out and try to stop the deep ball. Coach (Tom) Hayes will have a good game plan for us, so we’ll just try to execute that plan.”
While trying to put that game in the past, catching Milo’s attention in the early-week team meetings was this question posed by the coaching staff: “They asked, ‘How many of you have beaten Oklahoma?’ No hands went up.”
That, he says, “We’d like to change.”
We hope you enjoy K-State Sports Extra. We would like to hear your comments and any story ideas for future emails, so fire them our way. Contact either Mark Janssen or Kansas State Assistant AD for Communications Kenny Lannou.