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September 28, 2003

Florida and Miami Lead for 4-Star OL

Drew Miller of Sarasota (Fla.) Riverview High School saw his stock as a college prospect soar to new heights over the summer. Previously, the 6-6, 305-pound offensive tackle would be mentioned as one of Florida's best offensive lineman but generally behind Calvin Darity of Tallahassee (Fla.) Lincoln, Jim Tartt of Crawfordville (Fla.) Wakulla, and Jacky Claude of Miami (Fla.) Edison High School. But as soon as the summer ended and the season began, Miller propelled his name to the top of the list and is now considered by many to be the best offensive lineman in the state of Florida.

Miller holds about 40-50 offers from colleges around the nation. However, he may boast over 40 offers but two schools have been sitting pretty atop his list for a long time. Miller has stated before that his two favorite schools are Florida and Miami. When he took time out of his busy schedule to talk to InsidetheGators.net, that had not changed. The Gators and Hurricanes are still Nos. 1 and 2 on his list and he is looking forward to setting up official visits in the near future.

"I am going to visit Florida, Miami and Tennessee that I know of right now," Miller said. "Probably the other two visits are between Michigan, Georgia, FSU, Notre Dame and a couple of others."

Although he couldn't remember the exact dates, Miller did mention that Florida was first up for an official visit followed by a visit to Tennessee. When Miller officially visits the Gators, it will be his third time back in The Swamp as he already seen Florida play San Jose State and Tennessee this season.

Miller was one of the many recruits on hand to watch Florida and Tennessee duke it out in sweltering heat in The Swamp. Tennessee walked away victorious that day but the outcome of the game wasn't a priority for Miller.

"I didn't really care who won," Miller said. "I just wanted to see a good game but it didn't matter to me who won it this year. The Swamp was nice. It was real loud and I liked it."

Since Miller already has three schools picked out for official visits, he gave InsidetheGators.net the rundown on why he chose these schools to visit:

Florida: "I think they have a great program and tradition. I have met all the coaches. I like them all. I like (offensive line) coach (Joe) Wickline and (head) coach (Ron) Zook. It's a great school."

Miami: "I like the fact that they have been winning lately. They have a new winning tradition there. I have met their coaches and I like them. I went down to their school on an unofficial visit and I liked that as well."
Tennessee: "I have talked to their coach on the phone and I found out they have a pretty good program. So I am going to go up there and check it out."

Miller also added that a major reason why Florida and Miami are his favorites because he is familiar with their programs and coaches.
Regardless of the fact that he has stated Florida and Miami are his favorites, schools from around the country have not stopped calling the massive lineman.

"I have been getting a lot of phone calls," Miller said. "Florida, Miami and Tennessee are calling me every week. FSU, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Michigan, North Carolina, NC State. There have been a bunch."

In fact when the clock struck 12:01 a.m. on Sept. 1 (the first day college coaches could again be in contact with prospects after the summer "dead" period) UF's Wickline contacted Miller. Wasting little time, Wickline made sure that Miller knew how bad the Gators wanted him.

"I have talked to him a lot since," Miller added. "I talked to him at a camp over the summer. I talked to him a lot and he came down to my school as well. He has just been saying hi and catching up on some stuff."

The camp Miller was referring to was Florida's second session of the rising senior camp in July where Miller took part in drills and was able to glad-hand all of the Florida coaches in person.

Miller did mention that proximity to home is not a major factor in picking a school to attend. He said his parents would like him to stay in state but the final decision would be up to him.

The Gators and Vols both have former Riverview players on their squads and they could lend a hand in recruiting Miller. UF true freshman offensive lineman Steve Rissler lined up next to Miller at Riverview and the two could reunite under the bright lights of Florida Field. Up in Tennessee, sophomore wide receiver Chris Hannon keeps in touch with Miller. In fact, Hannon's father is a coach at Riverview.

Regardless of the barrage of calls, former teammates hounding him to commit and the hype surrounding the blue chip lineman, Miller doesn't plan on rushing to a decision.

"It will be after my visits and then I will decide," Miller said.


Give InsidetheGators.net a try! The above article is the type of extensive recruiting coverage you receive with a InsidetheGators.net Ultimate Ticket subscription. InsidetheGators.net provides our subscribers with in-depth coverage of Gator football, basketball and recruiting plus exclusive insights from Gator Bait editor Marty Cohen and assistant editor Guerry Smith. And Alligator Alley, our online community for Gator fans only, where one of our most popular features is posted every week - the War Room. Try InsidetheGators.net's Premium Ticket for 7 days FREE with no obligation by clicking here.


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