Top247 linebacker Christian Miller (Columbia, S.C./Spring Valley) has accepted an invitation to play in the 2014 U.S. Army All-American Bowl.
Florida linebacker commit Christian Miller had 121 tackles last season, is the No. 5 outside linebacker prospect in the 2014 class and will play in the 2014 U.S. Army All-American Bowl.
“I think it is great to get an invite to any all-star game,” Miller said. “It was great to be considered by both the Army Bowl and the Under Armour All-American Game.”
The game will be played Jan. 4 at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas with live television from NBC.
For Miller, the title sponsor of the game and its involvement in the bowl week activities was a factor in his decision to officially join the roster for the east team. Not surprising considering Columbia, S.C., is home to Fort Jackson, one of the largest Army training bases in the country.
“I felt like I was doing a good deed going out and representing the Army in the game,” Miller said. “Plus all of the cool things you get to do during the bowl week are very exciting as is the bowl week prep.”
Miller, a Florida commit, is looking forward to competing against many of the top prospects in the country during the practices and the game.
“I am just looking forward to going out there and competing and seeing where I stand with the top players in the country full throttle in gear, rather than doing one-on-ones or something like that in a camp,” he said. “I hope to go out and show why I am one of the top prospects.”
If Miller continues his offseason development, that won’t be hard. The 6-foot-4-framed athlete has put on 25 pounds of muscle since the end of football season and now weighs 215.
“I am already excited about getting out for spring football,” he said. “Everything is going well with offseason workouts. I have been working on my conditioning specifically. I feel that if I can go 100 percent every single play of the season, I can be even more productive than I was last season.”
Christian Miller has added 25 pounds of muscle since the end of the football season and now measures 6-foot-4, 215 pounds. He hopes to be 225 by the start of the season.
That may not be easy. Miller had a team-high 121 tackles, including 21 for loss, 14 sacks and four forced fumbles during his junior season at Spring Valley, which has produced Peter Boulware, Michael Boulware (Florida State) and Travis Williams (Auburn), among others on the defensive side of the ball over the years.
Miller’s father Corey played in the NFL for the New York Giants (1992-98) and the Minnesota Vikings (1999) after starring at South Carolina. While Christian has picked up pointers from his dad, he mentioned that their relationship is much more father/son than coach/player.
“Believe it or not, he’s not pushing me or anything,” Christian Miller said. “I do most of this stuff by myself. He’s supportive, but doesn’t push me. It’s a lot like (Gators 2013 signee) Kelvin Taylor and his dad (Fred Taylor). People assume because Kelvin’s dad played in the league for such a long time that he’s pushing him, but Kelvin did most of it on his own. (Corey Miller) has shown me a few pass rushing techniques, which is what I need to work on the most, but I do most of this on my own.”
As for his commitment to Florida, which occurred on Feb. 16, Miller says he’s firm. Gators defensive line coach Brad Lawing, who is in his first year, coached Corey Miller at South Carolina and the connection, though not the deciding factor, definitely helped.
“It felt like the right decision to make,” he said. “I was real comfortable. It was just because of (Lawing), even though that helped a lot. I love (Lawing), but I also love all of the coaches there. I love (Florida head coach) Will Muschamp’s intensity and our recruiting class is really starting to pick up.”
Indeed. The Gators have picked up two big commits this month. Four-star defensive tackle Anthony Moten (Fort Lauderdale, Fla./St. Thomas Aquinas) and five-star running back Dalvin Cook (Miami, Fla./Central) both have pledged in April with Cook flipping from Clemson.
“I saw where we got a five-star running back and I was like wow,” Miller said. “Our class has great balance so far. We have our running back. We have our quarterback (four-star Will Grier), we have a receiver in Ryeshene Bronson and several good offensive linemen. We also may be getting another outside linebacker soon, but I can’t guarantee that.”
Miller added that playing with Grier, who will play quarterback in the game for the East squad, is a bonus.
“I noticed he was in the game, too,” Miller said. “It may be late in the process, but hopefully he and I will get a chance to do some recruiting.”
Miller is nation’s No. 5 outside linebacker prospect for the 2014 cycle according to 247Sports and is the No. 3 overall prospect in the state of South Carolina. He joins fellow Palmetto State star Shaq Davidson, a wide receiver from Gaffney and the top overall prospect in the state for 2014, on the roster of the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.