Prepared for a comeback - Tucson Local Media: Sports

Prepared for a comeback

McMillon ready to take on new role as tailback

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Posted: Wednesday, August 10, 2011 3:00 am

A year ago, Marcos McMillon was at the top of his game as he prepared to be Mountain View’s starting quarterback. However, a year later the senior athlete is just happy to be playing, and the position doesn’t really matter.

With an attitude that football is a team sport, McMillon talked about he upcoming season, and a year of physical therapy and training to get back in the game.

McMillon described a tough junior year that started out with so much promise. In the first game of the 2010-11 season, he led the Mountain Lions to a 45-31 victory.

In the second game at quarterback, he dropped back and started going to his left, and got caught.

“It was the second quarter of the second game,” he recalled. “I was rolling out to the left, and that’s what I remember.”

McMillon said he felt his knee pop, and by Oct. 7, 2010, he was in surgery to have a torn ACL repaired.

He finished his quarterback career, throwing 102 yards and rushing for 17 with a 70 quarterback rating.

The season-ending injury meant sitting on the bench for the remainder of the year, and five months of intense physical therapy.

“The not-playing feeling was terrible,” he said. “Having to sit there and watch, knowing there was nothing I could do about coming back.”

McMillon said he knew that even though he was on the sidelines, getting back into the game for his final season at Mountain View was the only option.

“To better the team, I knew I had to work hard and get back out here,” he said.

However, even though McMillon is healthy enough to return, he will be playing in unchartered territory as a tailback instead of being the team’s starting quarterback.

McMillon said he always played quarterback while growing up, but didn’t appear disappointed that he wouldn’t be stepping under center for his final high school season.

“(Starting quarterback Cris Thorson) is a phenomenal quarterback,” said McMillon. “He’s faster, and he fits our style of offense. He also stepped up as a sophomore when I got hurt.”

Thorsen, who was recently voted a team captain, passed for 799 yards in his sophomore year as the starting quarterback on varsity.

Coach Larry Branson said McMillon’s dedication says a lot about who he is as a player.

“The key to success is to know you will bounce back when the air gets knocked out of you,” he said.

Branson said making McMillon the team’s starter at running back is a strategic move.

“This offense is keyed on the tailback,” he said. “I need a good tailback. I could see he’s a good runner. This is a good offense, and with a good running back, it’ll take the heat off the quarterback.”

To prepare for the new starting position, McMillon worked out most of the summer, dropped 18 pounds with the help of a nutritionist with the University of Arizona, and focused a lot on footwork.

“The position I play doesn’t matter,” said McMillon. “What matters is playing wherever the coach needs me, and doing what I can to prepare for that.”

In the new season, McMillon will also play defense where needed.

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