November 16, 2010

Miller set for combines, showcases

Maikhail Miller and his Fulton (Itawamba Agricultural), Miss., team's season ended with a loss to Center Hill in the opening round of the Mississippi 4A playoffs. Considering the Indians replaced its head coach and lost a multitude of seniors and starters from the '09 team that made it to the Mississippi 4A semifinals -- Itawamba Agricultural's advance to the playoffs and Miller's personal numbers are all the more outstanding.

Miller threw for over 2,000 yards and rushed for 500 yards for 30 total touchdowns as a junior. He's listed as a pro-style quarterback, but Miller expanded his running game during his senior campaign with 20 rushing touchdowns and 1,400 yards on the ground with more than 1,500 passing yards and 15 touchdowns through the air.

"I feel pretty good about it, coming in with a new coach was pretty hard, but we bounced back from last year," said Miller, who will take his official visit to Ole Miss in January. "We went no-huddle this year, something we'll be doing in college a lot more, it just got me a little more prepared (for college). I went through all the systems with pro (sets) and everything else through my high school career."

While some recruits stay in contact with various other commitments, recruits and universities, Miller decided to focus on his current season instead of getting caught up in recruiting wars.

"I've talked to them at the games a little bit and texted Donte (Moncrief) a couple times but that's about it," Miller said.

The 6-foot-3, 240-pound quarterback indicated his commitment to Ole Miss is firm and he's effectively shut down his recruitment, despite Memphis and Southern Miss' best attempts to sway his interests. Miller has seen how Ole Miss' offense has revolved around Jeremiah Masoli's mobility, and it's something that Miller would "be comfortable in."

The three-star prospect is the No. 24 rated pro-style quarterback and the No. 23 overall prospect in Mississippi for the 2011 graduating class.

Miller is the only quarterback in the Magnolia State in possession of a D-1 scholarship, but was not chosen to represent Mississippi in the Alabama-Mississippi All Star Classic, an annual contest in Mobile, Ala., that serves as a showcase/reward for the two states' best football players.

Starkville's Jacquez Johnson and West Jones' Ben Stevens were chosen to quarterback the 2010 Mississippi squad.

"I didn't understand that, being one of the only quarterbacks recruited out of Mississippi," Miller said. "(Alabama) has great quarterbacks over there, I just don't know how they wanted to go with that. It was shocking, to me. Nobody said why, what or anything. I don't know if they didn't like me or what. I don't know."

Stephen Rivers - the younger brother of San Diego Chargers quarterback Phillip Rivers - and Jacob Coker will quarterback the Alabama team. Rivers and Coker are LSU and Florida State commitments, respectively. Alabama has won 10 of the last 12 contests.

Though Miller was snubbed for the AL-MS Classic, he was not overlooked for the NUC All-American World Gridiron Classic. The Gridiron Classic is a collection of players from the U.S., Canada and Mexico who compete in a week-long event leading up to a game at The Citadel in Charleston, SC on December 31.

"They called me about two or three weeks ago, it's an All-American type of game," Miller noted. "They've got kids from everywhere and I think I'm the only one from Mississippi in it, so it's a pretty big deal. We're going to be up there all week."

The National Underclassmen Combine, or NUC, was founded in 2005 and the first annual game will be held this season. Previously, the NUC only offered combines and camps.

Miller will also compete in the Bernard Blackwell All Star Classic, an annual game that pits North Mississippi versus South Mississippi. The All Star Classic will be held in Ocean Springs, Miss., for the second straight year.

Miller had a seven touchdown performance against North Pontotoc on October 1.

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