SOMERSET, NJ - Kevin Millman, a senior at Franklin High School who is on the football team, was nominated for USA Football’s Heart of a Giant award, which is presented by Hospital for Special Surgery and the New York Giants.

According to, having a heart of a giant means displaying characteristics such as commitment, character, teamwork, dedication, and will.

“This award program seeks to find and highlight Tri-State high school players who demonstrate that extra something special. The ones that have a relentless work ethic and unmatched love for the game. Values like commitment, character, teamwork, dedication and will are crucial every season. But in times like this, they matter even more. When your players can't be side by side, when they don't take the fields on Friday nights, who helps keep the team together? That's who we're looking for. High school football may look different this year, but your athletes who inspire greatness both on and off the field still deserve the recognition.”

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Franklin football coach John Paczkowski sent in Millman’s name, and now he is one of 60 athletes who can be voted and chosen to be a top-11 finalist.

“Kevin’s great, Kevin’s great,” Franklin head coach  John Paczkowski said. “He does tutoring for athletes and non athletes alike. He’s in the National Honor Society so he’s done peer tutoring. He was working toward being certified for CPR before the pandemic hit. He was going to train other students as well. He had everything set up. When you ask what type of kid he is. It’s that.

“Since his sophomore year, he’s been a leader on defense. He calls the defense and makes sure everyone is aligned right. He’s been the field general on defense. Here’s the interesting part, he’s such an introvert. But when the time comes, he steps up. He’s not going to be yelling or screaming or saying look at me, look at me. He lets his action speak for himself.”

Should Millman be named a finalist, he will have earned a $1,000 donation to the Warriors for equipment. The grand prize winner gets an additional $4,000 for equipment as well as the trophy.

“It’ll be good not only for Kevin, but the whole athletic program.”

Asked what criteria defines you having a “Heart of a Giant” and how it applies to him according to his profile Millman said:

“One criteria I believe defines me is commitment. I believe commitment defines me because I have a very strong work ethic that I feel is unmatched. Throughout high school I have trained endlessly for football, being at every practice in season, and being at every workout in the offseason. I am the first one in the weight room, and the last one out. I have trained through numerous injuries such as pulled hamstrings, injured tendons in my foot, a broken nose, and multiple ruptured wisdom teeth. My commitment to football and training is unmatched.

“My commitment to football and the training that comes with it comes from my burning desire to be the best one on the field. I want to be the best football player on the field and in the weight room. I want to put myself above everyone else through my hard work and commitment to the process. I want to show everyone that my commitment and hard work is what makes me a leader. It takes more than skill and size to be good at football. If you are not committed then you are no better than someone who isn’t even on the team. Commitment is everything.”

Voting started on Oct. 16 and it ends on Nov. 9. To vote for Millman, click here.

In the words of Al Capone, “vote early and vote often”.

So far this season, Franklin is 1-2 on the field with a win over Edison and a loss to Sayreville and New Brunswick.

Follow Chris Nalwasky on Twitter @ChrisWasky.