May 29, 2008

Big Sky Guy

It's probably going to be hard for Casey McMillan to pack up and leave Montana later this summer. The Big Sky native is a not only a terrific athlete, having just won another state title in track and field this past weekend, but he is a true lover of the outdoor sports his home state has to offer. Whether it is hunting or fishing, McMillan has done it and done it well, like most everything in his life. He talks about heading to Iowa City this summer and his favorite hobby, hunting.

Q: What have you been doing with regard to sports since signing day?

McMILLAN: We had a little bit of basketball left and then I did track where I threw the shot and discus. This past weekend we had our state meet and I won the shot and took third in the discus. It was a little rainy out and I couldn't get a good hold on the discus for some reason. But, winning the shot was pretty nice.

Q: How did hoops turnout?

McMILLAN: It wasn't that great of a season. We finished up 5-13 in the regular season, but we made it to state and finished fourth, so we had a pretty good late season surge.

Q: You are probably a pretty imposing figure on the basketball court.

McMILLAN: It is actually not that big of a factor because it seems like every time I would turn around with the ball, I would get a charge called on me. (laugh) They would flop and that would be it.

Q: So you are like Shaq in the post with guys flopping? (laugh)

McMILLAN: Pretty much. I am the Montana version of Shaq, but quite a bit smaller. (laugh)

Q: What are you looking forward to about getting to Iowa City this summer?

McMILLAN: Actually I am only going to be in Iowa for about a week this summer, so I won't be staying for the summer. I will be there for orientation and to take my physical. I have a couple of all star games that I am playing in up here and a few other things going on. I talked to Coach Morgan about it and he said he would be fine with that. I have been doing Coach Doyle's workout every day and it has really paid off for me. Coach Doyle really knows how to make you hurt. (laugh)

Q: How much have you gained from those workouts?

McMILLAN: As far as weight, I am trying to stay down. I am probably heavier than just about everyone, so I am trying to keep that under control and actually lose weight. As far as my lifts, the gains have been phenomenal and it has been going really well.

Q: You seem like someone who really enjoys the weight room. Is that something you are really looking forward to in the fall?

McMILLAN: Big time. I was in total awe of the weight room on my official visit. You spend more time in the weight room over the course of a year than you do on the football field. I figure if you are going to be in there that much, you might as well enjoy it.

Q: There are a lot of veteran players on the offensive line and in front of you on the current depth chart. Is this first season more about learning from the veteran guys on the team?

McMILLAN: I think so, but that is probably the case for most all linemen. Our offense in high school was the Wing T and I have never zone blocked or really pass protected in my life. I guess I know how to do it, but I have been asked to do it. I just have to learn everything. That is just how it works. I talked to Coach Morgan and he said that redshirt is very probable as far as my first year on campus and I am fine with that.

Q: What are your emotions at this time of the year as high school wraps up?

McMILLAN: We actually finished two weeks ago with graduation on May 18th. It really is kind of bitter sweet because high school was pretty special, especially this past year winning the state in football, going to state in basketball, and winning a state title in track and field. My time in high school was great and I cannot say enough about the people and the coaches who made it all possible. It has been a great time, but at the same time, I am really looking to being a Hawkeye. The people in Iowa were great, the coaches were amazing, and it is going to be home.

Q: You achieved some great personal awards this year and you are yet to really mention them.

McMILLAN: (laugh) I don't really know what to say. It wasn't just me because there were so many people around me that helped me get to these personal accomplishments. Without my coaches, my parents, and my teammates, none of it would have been possible to achieve on a personal level. Really, my personal accomplishments are reflective of the people around me.

Q: James Vandenberg said the other day that the two of you keep in touch and he is taking you fishing. Montana has some great fishing, but are you ready for the mighty Mississippi?

McMILLAN: (laugh) From what I have seen on TV, it looks big and it looks muddy. I am not a big catfish guy, but that is about all I can see catching in it.

Q: You are obviously a big outdoor sports guy.

McMILLAN: Big time, especially hunting. Football does conflict with hunting season, but we would play on Saturday nights and every Sunday I would be out hunting deer or whatever.

Q: So you like hunting deer? Anything else?

McMILLAN: Deer, elk, whatever really. We do a lot of hunting for grouse, pheasants, occasionally a goose. Just about everything and that is what is so great about Montana and the outdoors.

Q: What is the biggest buck you have gotten?

McMILLAN: It is actually mounted in our basement. It is a mule deer that is about 27 inches wide and a five by six. I shot it when I was 15 on my uncle's ranch. I was pretty pumped when I got it.

Q: Back to football for a moment, you are still penciled in at guard this fall correct?

McMILLAN: Right now it is guard. That is what Coach Morgan has been telling me. He has said guard or maybe even tackle, depending on how that works out. Every time that I talk to Coach Morgan or Coach Ferentz, they always compare me to Marshal Yanda and he played tackle.

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