Posted: 11:21 am Wednesday, September 17th, 2008

AH’s Millines could return as QB in 3 weeks 

By Jason Lieser

American Heritage junior Darius Milines, one of the area’s top recruits in his class, fractured a bone in his thumb, but could return as starting quarterback in as little as three weeks.

Milines, who plays defensive back as well, injured his right thumb playing defense in American Heritage’s season opener, Sept. 5. He had surgery shortly after, and will visit a doctor again Monday.

Head coach Willie Bueno said he will re-evaluate Milines’ recovery timetable after he receives the doctor’s report, but said there is “no doubt” Milines could start at quarterback again in three or four weeks.

“The toughest thing will be gripping the ball,” Bueno said. “If he can do that, we might see him back there soon.”

There is a possibility he could use additional protection on the thumb and contribute as a defensive back in next week’s game.

“It doesn’t matter where they put me; I just want to play,” Milines said. “It’s going to be hard standing on the sidelines and watching on Friday.”

Milines said his thumb is “feeling good” and should feel a lot better once the surgical pins are removed. He was unsure specifically how he fractured the bone, but said it happened when he was in at cornerback and hit Overland’s (Colo.) quarterback.

In the interim, Bueno will start sophomore Billy Strode, who transferred from Stoneman-Douglas High in Parkland. Strode will make his first start as a varsity quarterback Friday against King’s Academy. Bueno is confident Strode can succeed as a fill-in, but added, “Anytime you lose your starting quarterback, it’s a big blow.”

Milines was Heritage’s starting cornerback when the Stallions won a state title in 2007. He was tabbed to replace star quarterback Justin Feagin, now at Michigan, last spring, but Bueno opted to keep him on defense as well.

At least 20 Division I schools have shown interest in Milines, who could play several positions in college. The biggest names tracking him are Florida, Miami, Wisconsin, Pittsburgh and North Carolina. He said FIU is only school to make an official offer.