UGA great Champ Bailey mentors Tech player from same hometown

- Now NFL teams can know for sure.

"Whoever didn't see it, I wanted to let them see it for themselves," said former Georgia Tech cornerback Chris Milton.

The former Yellow Jacket opened some eyes when he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.35 seconds at an NFL Regional Scouting Combine. Friday at Georgia Tech's Pro Day, Milton again displayed blazing speed, saying he believed he again ran under 4.4 seconds.

"A lot of people have asked about Chris," said Yellow Jackets head coach Paul Johnson. "Excited for him. I know he's worked hard to get ready, hopefully he's going to get an opportunity."

Milton clearly has speed on his side. He also has a former Georgia Bulldog.

"Chris really got me off my couch," said 12-time Pro Bowl cornerback Champ Bailey. "Figured I could give him a few tips."

Bailey is from Folkston, the same small town in Southeast Georgia where Milton is from. Bailey says he grew up with some of Milton's relatives and knew the NFL-hopeful when he was in diapers. After his college career concluded, Milton reached out to his older counterpart and asked for help. The two have been training together since.

"He understood where I was coming from, I'm just grateful," said Milton. "Him being a future Hall of Famer, learning from a guy like that. I don't think you can get a better teacher."

Bailey, who was a first round pick in 1999, says it's a little different being on the other side of the draft process.

"It's a little nerve-wracking, I'm not going to lie," said Bailey. "I'm not worried about him, I'm just nervous because I'm like that guy sitting on the sideline who can't go out there, so it's nerve-wracking."

Rivalry never came into play between Milton and Bailey. Though some diehard fans might find it hard to swallow, both say hometown trumps all, especially coming from one of those places where people take pride in knowing everyone's name.

"It's bigger than Bulldogs, Yellow Jackets," said Bailey. "I don't care where you went to school, you're a kid, you call me and say you need my help, I'm going to do whatever I can to help you, especially if I've known you since you were a baby. I've known him for years. I can't turn him down. The opportunity to help somebody achieve their goals, who would walk away from that?"

Milton says interest from NFL teams has picked up since posting a fast 40-yard dash time. He ran through some extra defensive back drills with an Arizona Cardinals scout after the Pro Day workout was over. As Bailey noted several times to reporters on Friday, and as he's doubtlessly said to Milton, the first thing you need to succeed in the NFL is an opportunity.

 

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