December 27, 2010

Miller readying for second all-star game

The holiday season has been an eventful one for Maikhail Miller.

The three-star quarterback prospect from Fulton (Itawamba Agricultural High School), Miss., has been moonlighting on the basketball court, preparing for football all-star games and contemplating a major decision that could impact his collegiate timetable.

This week, Miller is in Charleston, S.C., for the NUC All-World Gridiron Classic, which will be played on New Year's Eve. The game will be Miller's second all-star game this month. On Dec. 19, Miller led the North to a 19-14 win over the South in the Bernard Blackwell Football Classic in Ocean Springs, Miss. Miller completed seven of 11 passes for 129 yards in the annual Mississippi all-star game.

"It's pretty good," Miller said Monday afternoon after arriving in Charleston. "I played in one last week and this one is going to be a good experience. It's going to give me a good test to see what college is going to be like. …I've been throwing the football for a month now, so it's all good."

Miller is averaging 23 points and 11 rebounds per game at IAHS, but most of the buzz surrounding his name these days has to do with his college football future. The 6-foot-3, 235-pound Miller, ranked by Rivals.com as the No. 23 pro-style quarterback in the country, committed to Ole Miss in the preseason and hasn't wavered on that pledge. Earlier this month, Ole Miss signed junior college quarterback Zack Stoudt and the Rebels are believed to be one of the finalists for West Virginia quarterback Barry Brunetti, who recently announced he will transfer after the Mountaineers' date with North Carolina State in the Champs Sports Bowl Tuesday in Orlando, Fla.

Those developments have prompted speculation that Miller might grayshirt, meaning he wouldn't enroll at Ole Miss until January 2012.

"I heard that several times, too, but no," Miller said when asked if he's made a final decision about grayshirting. "(Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt) said that's a thing they might do, but it all depends.

"It would be fine with me. It would give me a good chance to see what college is like without being on a football perspective all the time."

Ole Miss has had recent success with grayshirts. Center Evan Swindall, defensive end Cameron Whigham and linebacker Mike Marry grayshirted and played extensively as true freshmen last season.

"They had Marry do it," Miller said. "(Quarterback) John Parker Wilson did it at Alabama. It's all good. They actually got a lot more playing time than regular redshirts did."

This week, Miller is rooming with fellow Ole Miss commitment T.J. Worthy. In Ocean Springs, Miller spent a good bit of time with future Ole Miss teammate Justin Bell.

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