KSU's Milo is old school
Published on -9/19/2012, 9:49 AM
By ARNE GREEN
Special to The Hays Daily News
MANHATTAN -- When it comes to his love for Kansas State football, Jarard Milo is decidedly old school.
Well, old school by today's standards anyway.
"I can remember coming to games and just be like, 'Man, I want that to be me,' " said Milo, who a year after walking on as a junior college transfer now is the Wildcats' starting strong safety. "I can remember coming to the games, watching the tempo and how everybody was a family and how close they were on the field and how they ran to the ball."
He could definitely relate to the family part, since that's why he was in the stands in the first place by age 5.
His oldest brother, Brian Goolsby, was a popular fullback for the Wildcats from 1995-98.
The '98 team, arguably K-State's best ever, sailed through the regular season and came within a Big 12 championship overtime loss to Texas A&M of playing for a national title.
"I remember Michael Bishop," Milo said of that team's star quarterback and Heisman Trophy runner-up. "I remember the defense, obviously.
"They had a great defense."
And he remembers his favorite player, the battering-ram fullback from Dodge City.
"My brother was my favorite player," Milo said of Goolsby. "Besides that, I would probably say Lamar Chapman.
"Growing up as a kid, I played safety, too, so I paid a lot of attention to Lamar. But of course, my brother was my favorite player."
Goolsby, who now lives in Wichita, also helped steer Milo to K-State after he received limited recruiting interest from the Wildcats out of Olathe North High School and then Butler Community College.
"He had a lot to do with the process," said Milo, who was born in Dodge City but moved to Olathe as a child. "I talked to him a lot, and I grew up as a Wildcat, watching him.
"It was my dream to come here."
As a newcomer last year, Milo quickly distinguished himself on special teams, appearing in 12 games and recording eight tackles. By preseason camp, he was battling for the starting safety spot vacated by longtime starter Tysyn Hartman, and days before the opener against Missouri State, he got the good news.
"I didn't know until that Thursday, after practice," Milo said. "Coach came up to me and told me that I was going to start.
"Right then and there, I knew that I had to make the most of my opportunity."
So far, so good.
Through the first three games, Milo is second on the team with 22 tackles, trailing only middle linebacker Arthur Brown. But he's less interested in numbers than results, especially with the No. 15-ranked Wildcats opening Big 12 play Saturday night at No. 6 Oklahoma.
"I don't pay attention to none of that," he said of the tackles. "I just go out and do my job -- give it up for the guys that gave it up for me last year when I was watching them.
"I just want to step into the spot and replicate what they did last year."
K-State coach Bill Snyder said he has been pleased with Milo's progress to date.
"I think he's doing a nice job," Snyder said last week. "Like all the rest of us, he has ample room to grow (but) he's pretty diligent about what he does.
"I think he's an intelligent young guy and he works at it, not just physically but mentally as well. He has some athletic ability and he's got a pretty good presence on the field."
Milo admits he's still learning.
"I think I've been all right," he said. "But I'm three weeks in, I'm getting my feet wet and I'm getting more experience back there.
"Sometimes I feel I did good, but I have a lot of room for improvement, too."
While the 1990s Wildcats were his early role models, Milo said he leaned on Hartman last year.
"I grew up behind Tysyn and Tysyn taught me a lot of things," he said. "The things that Tysyn did, I want to try and do the same things he did, only better."