Thursday, May 23, 2013
No rush for ESPN 150 LB Christian Miller
By Kipp Adams
Christian Miller (Spring Valley, S.C./Spring Valley) does not feel like he rushed into his decision when he committed to Florida in February. He does, however, admit it might have been wise to see a few more places. While Miller felt comfortable being part of the Gators’ 2014 class, he did not want any regrets about the decision.
The decision to decommit came after being upfront with Florida coaches about his desires.
That is not to say Miller, the No. 76 prospect in the country, wants the Gators to stop recruiting him. His father spoke to Florida coach Will Muschamp who informed him that Christian is still one of their top guys, they still want him to be a Gator and they do not think anything has changed.
The Gators will just have to work harder. Several schools pounced after the decommitment, including Alabama which clearly wants to remain in the mix.
“[Alabama] wondered what they done wrong because I was so high on them before,” Miller said. “The day after I committed my recruiter of record Coach (Chris) Rumph let Coach (Nick) Saban know, and that is when he got involved. Coach Saban told me I was their top guy at my position and they were really hoping to land me. He said he really respects Florida but they still planned to recruit me. Long story short, I have had Alabama coming hard after me since the day after I committed.”
Miller says that while no teams are on top, another SEC school has emerged after offering on Monday.
“Now that Georgia has come into the picture and are coming at me really hard, they have moved up with me,” Miller said. “Even without an offer, I had a lot of interest in Georgia before I even committed because of how their defense is setup. I loved watching Jarvis Jones and that is what really caught my eye and stood out early on. For some reason I could really see myself going there, especially since it is close to home. I was big on them without an offer, and if I had one back then it would have been really hard to commit to Florida.”
Three days after he decommitted, Miller got a Facebook message from Georgia inside linebackers’ coach Kirk Olivadotti saying to give him a call when he got a chance.
An offer followed after Miller contacted Georgia, and the next day, Olivadotti stopped by Miller’s school leaving little doubt that Miller is now a priority for the Bulldogs. The gesture did not go unnoticed with the four-star prospect.
“When I got to school I was notified they were already there,” the four-star player said. “That surprised me and showed me they have genuine interest in me and I am really a top target for them. Things are looking very good with Georgia and I will probably go down there in the next three weeks or so.”
While not a deciding factor, one aspect of Miller’s next decision, which he says will be final, is how well he fits in that program’s defense. Tennessee, who has also come on strong in the last few weeks with Miller, runs a 4-3 defense. Florida is known as a 4-3 team and Alabama is known for its 3-4 base defense. But both teams really run a hybrid scheme and that flexibility appeals to Miller, especially what he could do at Georgia.
“I see myself fitting in just like Jarvis Jones, just because of my natural pass rush ability,” Miller said. “Coach Grantham says I have raw ability, that under the right coaching, could really wreak havoc in their 3-4. The role of Jarvis is exactly what I would want to play in college just because he pass rushes a lot, can also play down on the run, and can drop back in coverage every now and then. That would be the best spot for me and I totally agree with how they want to use me. It sounds good to me.”
Moving forward, Miller plans to be more deliberate including seeing each school more than once. Alabama, Florida, Georgia and UCLA are four schools he feels will likely make the cut. Alabama and Florida have already had Miller on campus once, so he might only take one more trip to those schools while Georgia will get him on campus next month and again this fall. After he takes his officials early this fall, Miller feels he should be ready to make that final choice.