Former Eagles Cornerback Mark McMillian will look to LIFT the spirit of children at his 4th annual camp

PHILADELPHIA, PA – DECEMBER 22: Philadelphia Eagles helmet sits on a cart during the game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Philadelphia Eagle on December 22, 2019, at Lincoln Financial Filed in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire)

Mark McMillian is a former NFL player, Emmy Award winner, outreach program founder, has been on the airwaves with ESPN radio, a TV personality, Master Griller, and was a fan favorite during his time with Philadelphia. Quite the résumé! 

Mark was a feisty and determined competitor as a cornerback for the Philadelphia Eagles and he will be back in the area later this month bringing that same energy to support his 4th annual LIFT foundation camp in support of harassed and bullied children.

Eagles tenure

The Philadelphia Eagles drafted Mark in the 10th RD with the 272nd pick in the 1992 NFL Draft. Affectionately called “Mighty Mouse” by his teammates, due to his 5’7″ stature and strong-willed determination, he quickly became another underdog, in a city with a lot of them, that the fans rooted for. McMillian is listed as one of the ten shortest players to ever play in the NFL. He is the only one of the ten to play cornerback.

The Alabama product was on the field in all 16 games during his rookie season of 1992 (starting 3) and he recorded his first career INT. He also started both playoff games in the 92 season against the Saints and Cowboys, respectively. He was gaining valuable experience and leaving quite an impression on his teammates and coaches.

Eagles HC Rich Kotite to Terry Larmier of The Morning call in 1992 “I can see him playing more and more because he’s contributing.” Continuing to contribute he did. By week 13, against a highly favored SF 49ers team, the rookie had become a part of the nickel coverage. Mark never lacking confidence, didn’t shy away from the question when asked about playing against the 49ers and potentially going up against Jerry Rice.

“I’m just going to have to step my game up a little higher, Actually, I’m pretty much excited by the fact that I’m getting to play (against) Jerry Rice. Not many guys get a chance to stick Jerry Rice”

And by stick, he meant covering him, by sticking with him.

By the 1993 season, the feisty corner was “sticking” as a regular in the starting lineup at LCB. He started 12 of the 16 games at corner that season and never gave up that job until he left via free agency, playing in every single game during his tenure with the Eagles.

Mark finished his time in Eagle Green by recording 2 interceptions in his final 2 postseason starts with the Birds (one in each of the 2 playoff games) including the wild and memorable playoff win against the Detroit Lions.

His impactful 4-year tenure (1992–95) as a Philadelphia Eagle earned him a spot on the Eagles’ top 10 corners of the Super Bowl era (shameless plug).

Responding to that article Mark stated “Appreciate that. Not bad for a 10th Rd guy up against a bunch of 1st and 2nd rounders”

Life after Philly

McMillian would go on to play 4 more seasons in the NFL. In 1997, while playing for the Chiefs, he led the NFL in interception return yards and was tied for 2nd most interceptions in the league with 8. He also ran 3 of those back for a touchdown. He accomplished that while starting 10 of the 16 games that season. ‘Mighty Mouse’ would finish his NFL career following the 1999 season, after playing for the San Francisco 49ers and the now Washington Commanders.

Mark accomplished a lot during his years in the NFL but said he was most proud of the relationships he forged.

“I would say just having respect from the guys. From the teams. From my opponents,” he says. “We play this game and everybody can’t make it into the Hall of Fame, and everybody’s not going to win a Super Bowl, but when you can get a guy like a Reggie White or an Eric Allen or playing against a Cris Carter or Art Monk, guys that are in the Hall of Fame, give you props after a game, you can’t put a price tag on that.”

While the accolades were piling up on the field, his impact off the field would be even bigger after he retired. 

Life After Football:

Mark has had an entrepreneurial spirit since his playing days. During his time in Philadelphia, he was one of the founders of “Little Big Men” with fellow Eagles teammate Jeff Sydner. Mark stated that the segment, Little Big Men, showcased the highlights from players under 6 feet. In October of 1995, McMillian, a broadcast journalism major at Alabama, won an Emmy Award for his segment that aired on teammate Randall Cunningham’s weekly pregame show.

Most recently, you may have seen Mark on your TV screen while he was cooking on the Gordon Ramsey hit show Next Level Chef.

Always the athlete, Mark used a football analogy in describing his time on the show.

“Being on Next Level Chef was like GAMEDAY you had to bring it every time you stepped in the kitchen.”

Business and cooking have long been a passion for Mark. He utilizes that same savvy business sense, to promote his current endeavors. 

“I started Grilling McMillian in 2010. I wanted to bring together friends, teammates, and families through grilling.” 

With his mission of inspiring palates around the globe, he is bringing togetherness and unity through a unique cooking experience to create value and make a difference.

His positive attitude, determination, and perseverance have always been a hallmark of his character, and he’s still out there continuing to prove that he can do anything he puts his mind to. This includes being a positive influence and mentor to today’s youth. Something he is very passionate about. 

Giving Back:

Making a difference for his community and beyond is at the forefront of all his decisions. 

“The football part about it is exciting but you know, to see the kids’ faces from when they start a little shy, to by the end of the camp seeing their faces light up and seeing them have a little bit more confidence in themselves. That’s what it’s all about, teach kids about self-esteem and stop bullying because the suicide rate right now for these young youth kids is really high.”

Mark’s passion for his nonprofit venture, aptly named LIFT, is evident through his determination to expand the program with the proceeds he donates through his business ventures which help keep the foundation moving forward. 

“I launched my LIFT program for high school kids that are being bullied. I want to launch the program in cities across the country to help bring more awareness, and give these (kids) a platform where they can feel comfortable, as well as (myself) doing camps and retreats with these young men.” 

Meet Mark & Show Support:

There will be 2 opportunities to support this wonderful foundation and meet Mark in person later this month.

First on June 21st between 4–8 PM at Troegs Independent Brewing. He will greet everyone on the patio where you can sample his Grill’n McMillian sauces and seasonings and learn about the LIFT program. 

The following day, June 22, Mark will be in Lancaster Pennsylvania between 8 am and 12 pm at Clipper Magazine Stadium at 650 North Prince Street. 

“June 22nd I will be hosting my 4th annual Camp29 at the Lancaster Barnstormers baseball stadium in support of my LIFT foundation for kids who have been harassed or bullied.”

This is much more than just a camp to learn football. The program is designed to enrich children’s lives by teaching and empowering them to overcome obstacles. 

If you have a child who wants to participate in the program, it is open to all young adults from the 3rd to 12th grade. You can register by going to

Do not miss this opportunity to participate in or support a great cause, meet Mark, and enjoy some delicious Grill’n McMillian food. 

You can stay connected with Mark by following him via social media. He is very active on both his X handle and Instagram.

X (formerly Twitter) @MarkMcMillian29 and @Camp29_

Instagram — McMillian29 

As always, thank you for reading

BIG thank you to Mark for lending me some of his time.

Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire