Norcross' Myles Autry (Staff Photo: Brendan Sullivan)
Football Super Six - Norcross' Myles Autry
Norcross' Myles Autry has been selected as one of the Daily Post's football Super Six.
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THE AUTRY FILE
Name: Myles Autry
Weight: 175 pounds
College choices: Georgia Tech, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, Florida State, Oregon, Texas A&M, Miami
Nickname: King Cinco
Place of birth: Manhattan, N.Y.
Role model: LeBron James
Favorite restaurant: Hibachi Buffet
Favorite store: QuikTrip
Favorite teacher: Mrs. Tracey Casey Mason
Favorite subject: Math
Number of text message I send a month: 500
Twitter handle: KingCinco_
Life’s dream: Being a Professional Athlete
Info file: Was the county’s most exciting all-purpose player last season. Rushed for 560 yards and six touchdowns as a running back, caught 45 passes for 632 yards and 10 TDs as a receiver and had four punt returns for touchdowns as kick returner. Injured his knee in state semifinals, but played in championship game where he caught an 11-yard touchdown pass. Is ranked the No. 24 overall player in the state by ESPN.
Coach Keith Maloof’s take: “I feel he’s as healthy as he can be right now. I’m holding him back more than probably the doctors are because I don’t want to see him get hurt or injured. He’s full speed in practice, just not contact right now.”
Myles Autry is ready to answer the question he’s gotten the last eight months. How’s your knee?
The Norcross football player gets asked it by his coaches and teammates, friends and family, college recruiters and the media.
His answer the whole time has been “My knee is well. It’s great actually.”
Autry will get to prove it finally on Saturday. Nearly eight months after tearing his ACL, MCL and meniscus, the standout receiver/running back/kick returner will finally return to the field.
“I’ve been begging Coach (Keith) Maloof to let me get out there, let me get hit,” Autry said. “He said the time he’ll let me out is Aug. 24. I’m fine with that. It will be the time I show everybody that I’m back.”
Prior to his injury, Autry was the county’s most exciting all-purpose player. He rushed for 560 yards and six touchdowns as a running back, caught 45 passes for 632 yards and 10 TDs as a receiver and had four punt returns for touchdowns as kick returner.
“He’s one the most feared returners in the nation,” said U.S. Army All-American Bowl national recruiting director Erik Richards. “I have never seen the first would-be tackler not miss. His game is similar to 2004 U.S. Army All-American Ted Ginn. Do not bet against Autry returning better than he was pre-injury.”
The 6-foot, 175-pound Autry injured his knee in the Class AAAAAA state semifinals against Colquitt County. The following week in the state finals against Lovejoy, he was used as a decoy for the first three quarters with his knee heavily taped. Then in the fourth quarter, he caught an 11-yard touchdown pass to spark Norcross’ comeback win for the state crown.
Autry had surgery on Jan. 15 and began rehabbing in late March with Sport Medicine South’s Brian Struck, a former trainer for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
“He told me if you want to get better or be the same as last year, you’re going to have to work,” Autry said. “My rehab, I would push it. At one point I would rehab three times a day. I just wanted to come back.”
Part of Autry’s motivation was Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, who suffered a similar injury in 2011 and came back to be the NFL’s MVP in 2012.
“I read an Adrian Peterson article and posted it on my door,” Autry said. “I would read it everyday. I definitely want to come back way better than I was.”
Prior to his injury, Autry could back squat 365 pounds eight times. He’s able to do that again and now has a one-rep max of 415 pounds.
“I feel he’s as healthy as he can be right now,” Norcross head coach Keith Maloof said. “I’m holding him back more than probably the doctors are because I don’t want to see him get hurt or injured. He’s full speed in practice, just not contact right now.”
Despite his injury, Autry said college recruiters never backed off. He still has scholarship offers from some of the nation’s top schools like Georgia Tech, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, Florida State, Oregon, Texas A&M and Miami.
“It didn’t really change anything,” said Autry, who will play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. “I don’t think any colleges looked at me different since I got injured. Some coaches wanted to see how I am this year.”
Autry said the only difference he’s seen from his injury is his decline in player rankings by recruiting services. ESPN ranks him the No. 24 best player in Georgia and the No. 5 athlete. Those rankings are what Struck used to push Autry through his rehab.
“He pushed me hard everyday,” Autry said. “He told me I want you to be the best running back in the state. I want you to be the best athlete in the country.”
Autry will have a national stage on Saturday to show everyone he’s back. Norcross will host Florida state champion Booker T. Washington in game that will be shown nationally on ESPN.
“I thank God I had surgery, but the process getting there was horrible,” Autry said. “I definitely feel way stronger than I was.”
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