Oct. 14, 2009 1:18 p.m.
CHARLOTTESVILLE — More than two years after he enrolled at UVa, tailback Max Milien finally got his first carry. It went for a 7-yard gain Saturday late in Virginia’s 47-7 rout of Indiana at Scott Stadium.
With Mikell Simpson’s status uncertain — the senior tailback suffered a neck injury against the Hoosiers — Milien’s role may grow in the coming weeks.
A 6-0, 210-pound redshirt sophomore, Milien starred at Yorktown High in Arlington. He redshirted in 2007 and didn’t appear in any games in ’08, in part because of a foot injury.
He had more foot problems during training camp this year, which set him back significantly. Milien didn’t make his college debut until the Indiana game.
“We’re very sensitive to the foot issue around here with our backs, because it seems to be a little bit at an epidemic stage,” said Al Groh, who has seen such players as Wali Lundy, Cedric Peerman and Dominique Wallace sidelined by foot injuries in recent years.
Milien, finally healthy, netted 14 yards on his four carries against Indiana. Virginia (1-0, 2-3) plays at Maryland (1-1, 2-4) on Saturday.
Does Milien remind Groh of any former UVa tailbacks?
“No, I’d say that he’s got a little bit of his own style,” Groh said Wednesday afternoon on the ACC coaches’ teleconference.
“He’s got a good physical nature to his game, but I certainly wouldn’t call him a pounder. And he’s got a nice elusiveness. But he does have a good overall versatility. He catches the ball well. Clearly, in order to be a back he’s got to run it pretty well, and he’s learned a lot more about pass protection.”