Where are they now?

Lackey great helped team to Class B state football title, went on to have eight-year career in the NFL

Friday, Aug. 8, 2008

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Rod Milstead, right, played in the NFL for eight seasons. He was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in 1992 and was a member of the Cleveland Browns, San Francisco 49ers and Washington Redskins.

From the moment he arrived on the Southern Maryland Athletic Conference football gridiron, Rod Milstead has always stuck to his game plan on and off the field. Milstead has always thought about the future and what hard work brings to the table.

Milstead was one of the best blockers to play in the SMAC. He was a strong, and physical presence for the Lackey Chargers from 1983-1986. At offensive guard, Milstead had recruits all over the country turning their heads to come watch him on Friday nights.

As a senior, Milstead received first-team All-State honors as a lineman and first-team All-Conference awards for his complete dominance throughout the year.

In 1986, he helped lead the Chargers to a Class B state championship victory. This was a special season for Milstead, who felt that winning was a big accomplishment, but knew that training camp was the key.

‘‘August 15, 1986 we got together as a unit and set a goal that we were going to be champions at Byrd Stadium,” said Milstead. ‘‘The biggest thing was sticking to the game plan, and working hard in the weight room.”

He participated in the Big 33 Football Classic All-Star game that year. It featured the top high school players in Maryland.

‘‘This game was special, because Maryland became the first team to beat the best 33 players in Pennsylvania, so I was glad to be a part of that.”

The success continued as Milstead attended Delaware State University on a football scholarship. From 1987-1991, he was a part of four conference championships in five years. He started every game of his collegiate career and was a key standout for the Hornets’ attack on the offensive line, receiving all-conference honors for three years.

In May of 1991, Milstead graduated with a degree in criminal justice and sociology.

Milstead said: ‘‘College was a great experience on and off the field, because I was able to gain career opportunities and exposure.”

Milstead went on to the National Football League and played for eight seasons. He was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in 1992 and was a member of the Cleveland Browns, San Francisco 49ers and Washington Redskins.

Milstead was a part of the 49ers team that defeated the San Diego Chargers to win Super Bowl XXIX.

He became the second player in SMAC history to win a Super Bowl.

‘‘Bruce Davis inspired me back in high school, because he won a Super Bowl ring with the Oakland Raiders,” Milstead said, ‘‘so when he came back to be inducted in the Lackey hall of fame that was a big motivation to get to that level.”

After retiring from the NFL in 1999, Milstead, 38, now focuses his career toward the community.

Milstead currently works for bail bonds services in La Plata, in which he protects the public from criminals.

Milstead added: ‘‘I also work for a Global Monetary in which we provide detention braces for the ankle, and I’m advancing my own insurance company.”

During Milstead’s eight-year career in the NFL, his goal was to reach out to young people in the community where he grew up.

‘‘The biggest reward was going to the local schools to share with them the experiences that I had in life,” said Milstead.

Milstead continues to give unique advice to young people that will only take them in the right direction.

‘‘My advice for young people is to have a plan in place for the future, use that plan in the classroom, and separate themselves from their friends,” Milstead said. ‘‘Sacrifice now for the ultimate goal later.”

Milstead has had a major impact on the Lackey football program, which have affected the players that look up to him.

‘‘By showing the guys that you work hard, then opportunities will be afforded in the long run,” said Milstead.

Milstead loves the challenges ahead and continues to be a mentor to young adults.

‘‘My goal is to inspire them, and make them feel like their dreams can come true.”