No. 89, 85, 80
|Date of birth:October 28, 1968|
|Place of birth: Dunnellon, Florida|
|High school: Dunnellon High School|
|College: University of Florida|
|NFL Draft: 1991 / Round: 3 / Pick: 73|
|Debuted in 1991 for the Pittsburgh Steelers|
|Last played in 1999 for the Dallas Cowboys|
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of 1999
|Stats at pro-football-reference.com|
|Stats at DatabaseFootball.com|
Ernest Lee Mills, III (born October 28, 1968) is a former American college and professional football player who was a wide receiver in the National Football League (NFL) for nine seasons during the 1990s. Mills played college football for the University of Florida, and thereafter, he played professionally for the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Carolina Panthers and the Dallas Cowboys of the NFL.
Mills received an athletic scholarship to attend the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida, where he was a four-year letterman for coach Galen Hall and coach Steve Spurrier's Florida Gators football teams from 1987 to 1990. Memorably, in 1990, he caught a 70-yard pass thrown by quarterback Shane Matthews from the Gators' own 2-yard-line, setting up a crucial field goal in the Gators' 17–13 victory over the Alabama Crimson Tide. As a senior, Mills was a first-team All-Southeastern Conference (SEC) selection, and a team captain of the Gators squad that finished with a 9–2 overall win-loss record and a best-in-the-SEC record of 6–1. He tied tight end Kirk Kirkpatrick with 770 yards receiving, and led the team with ten touchdowns in 1990.
Mills graduated from the University of Florida with a bachelor's degree in exercise and sport sciences in 1990.
The Pittsburgh Steelers selected Mills in the third round (seventy-third pick overall) of the 1991 NFL Draft, and Mills played for the Steelers for six seasons from 1991 to 1996. He had his best NFL season in 1995, when he caught thirty-nine passes for 679 yards and eight touchdowns, helping the Steelers gain a berth in Super Bowl XXX. Mills subsequently played for the Carolina Panthers in 1997, and the Dallas Cowboys in 1998 and 1999. He finished his nine-year NFL career with 196 receptions for 2,934 yards and twenty touchdowns.
Life after the NFL
- Florida Gators
- Florida Gators football, 1980–89
- Florida Gators football, 1990–99
- List of Carolina Panthers players
- List of Dallas Cowboys players
- List of Florida Gators football players
- List of Pittsburgh Steelers players
- List of University of Florida alumni
- Pro-Football-Reference.com, Players, Ernie Mills. Retrieved July 19, 2010.
- databaseFootball.com, Players, Ernie Mills. Retrieved July 19, 2010.
- 2011 Florida Gators Football Media Guide, University Athletic Association, Gainesville, Florida, pp. 97, 99, 124, 144–145, 148, 184 (2011). Retrieved August 31, 2011.
- Norm Carlson, University of Florida Football Vault: The History of the Florida Gators, Whitman Publishing, LLC, Atlanta, Georgia, p. 107 (2007).
- Pro Football Hall of Fame, Draft History, 1991 National Football League Draft. Retrieved July 19, 2010.
- National Football League, Historical Players, Ernie Mills. Retrieved July 19, 2010.
- 2008 Jacksonville University Football Media Guide, Coaching Staff, Jacksonville University, Jacksonville, Florida, p. 35 (2008). Retrieved July 22, 2010.
- Carlson, Norm, University of Florida Football Vault: The History of the Florida Gators, Whitman Publishing, LLC, Atlanta, Georgia (2007). ISBN 0-7948-2298-3.
- Golenbock, Peter, Go Gators! An Oral History of Florida's Pursuit of Gridiron Glory, Legends Publishing, LLC, St. Petersburg, Florida (2002). ISBN 0-9650782-1-3.
- Hairston, Jack, Tales from the Gator Swamp: A Collection of the Greatest Gator Stories Ever Told, Sports Publishing, LLC, Champaign, Illinois (2002). ISBN 1-58261-514-4.
- McCarthy, Kevin M., Fightin' Gators: A History of University of Florida Football, Arcadia Publishing, Mount Pleasant, South Carolina (2000). ISBN 978-0-7385-0559-6.
- Nash, Noel, ed., The Gainesville Sun Presents The Greatest Moments in Florida Gators Football, Sports Publishing, Inc., Champaign, Illinois (1998). ISBN 1-57167-196-X.