Bear Milacek says he likes his birth-given name because it’s different. He enjoys being unique.
Milacek, pronounced Ma-law-check, committed to the University of New Mexico for the 2021 season to be different and in the process became a novelty.
The 6-foot-3, 210-pound 17-year-old from Boulder Creek High (Anthem, Arizona) is the first quarterback in the Lobos’ 2021 recruiting class. He announced his commitment to UNM on Saturday night via Twitter.
He said the coaching staff, including head coach Danny Gonzales, quarterbacks coach Jordan Salkin and defensive coordinator Rocky Long, played a big part in his decision. Milacek, who is the 15th to commit to UNM for 2021, said he wants to be a part of a new era and a winning culture.
“They’re ready to win a lot of games this year,” Milacek said of the UNM coaching staff during a phone interview on Sunday morning. “I think everyone in Albuquerque is ready for the University of New Mexico to win a championship. That’s what these 15 recruits so far are going to try to do.”
Since early April, the Lobos have been actively recruiting but had yet to gain a commitment from a quarterback. Milacek said he is excited to be the first quarterback of the class. He is also excited that the Lobos have commitments from a tall, pass-catching tight end: 6-6, 215-pound Jacob Trussell from Georgetown High in Texas, and four wide receivers, including Luke Wysong (5-10, 170, Cleveland High), Keyonta Lanier (6-2, 170, Long Beach Poly in California), Michael Murray (6-3, 200, Lampasas High in Texas), and Benji Johnson (6-3, 195, Hooks High in Texas).
The Lobos have at least two other offers to quarterbacks from the 2021 graduating class, both known for their running ability, including Jaylen Henderson (6-3, 205) from Chaminade High in Los Angeles and CJ Montes (6-0, 170) from Paracelete High in Lancaster, California.
Milacek is known as a pro-style quarterback. He threw for 2,364 yards and 14 TDs with 12 interceptions as a junior for the 4-7 Jaguars in 2019. He completed 167 of 298 passes.
“I’m pro style, yes, but I also run when I have to,” said Milacek, who ran for 268 yards and two touchdowns last season. “If (Gonzales) needs me to run the ball then I’m going to run the ball.
“Passing is my strong suit. I believe I can make any throw on the field. Throwing the ball all around the field is my asset that I bring to the table. But also being able to take off up the middle and get a few yards carrying the ball as well.”
Milacek also had offers from Western Kentucky, Valparaiso and San Diego. UCLA showed interest, but “it ended up not working,” said Milacek, who chuckled at the thought of Bear playing for the Bruins.
“I’m happy to be a Lobo,” he said.
2021 commits for UNM football
- Bear Milacek, 6-foot-3, 210 pounds, quarterback, Boulder Creek High in Anthem, Arizona
- Luke Wysong, 5-10, 170, wide receiver, Cleveland High, Rio Rancho
- Keyonta Lanier, 6-2, 170, wide receiver, Long Beach Poly in California
- Michael Murray, 6-3, 200, wide receiver, Lampasas High in Texas
- Benji Johnson, 6-3, 195, wide receiver, Hooks High in Texas
- Ronald Wilson, 5-10, 180, safety, North Crowley High in Fort Worth, Texas
- Andrell Barney Jr., 5-11, 185, cornerback, Basha High in Chandler, Arizona
- Jaden Phillips, 6-2, 240, defensive end, Clovis High
- Jacob Trussell, 6-6, 215, tight end, Georgetown High in Texas
- Raheem Toombs, 5-11, 205, running back, Immokalee High in Florida
- Joshua Atkins, 6-4, 280, offensive tackle, Mansfield Timberview High in Arlington, Texas
- Dayton Robinson, 6-5, 280, offensive tackle, Mansfield Timberview High in Arlington, Texas
- Isaiah Sillemon, 6-3, 285, offensive guard, Lancaster High in Texas
- Larry Luna, 6-5, 260, offensive lineman, Goddard High, Roswell
- Sebastian Sias, 6-3, 275, offensive lineman, Butte College in Oroville, California