DevilsDigest's Zach Miller Chat Transcript

On Tuesday night, Zach Miller, the prize recruit of ASU's 2004 class, dropped by DevilsDigest's chat room to field questions from the Sun Devil fans.

Note: The chat was moderated by BigESunDvl. Answers from Zach Miller will appear in caps.

BigESunDvl: How is your senior year of high school going and do you have to worry about any scholastic issues popping up?

MILLER: NOPE. I HAVE ALREADY BEEN ADMITTED TO ASU. IT LOOKS LIKE I WILL BE ABLE TO KEEP MY 4.0 GPA THROUGHOUT MY HIGH SCHOOL CAREER.

BigESunDvl: Have you enjoyed high school? Do you have a best one or two memories?

MILLER: I REALLY LIKE HIGH SCHOOL. IT HAS GONE REALLY QUICK, THOUGH.

MILLER: MY MOST MEMORABLE GAME WAS AGAINST RED MOUNTAIN AT RED MOUNTAIN. IT WAS NUMBER ONE VS. NUMBER TWO IN THE STATE. WE WON.

MILLER: MY OTHER MEMORIES HAVE TO DO WITH PLAYING FOOTBALL WITH MY BROTHER.

BigESunDvl: Do you play any other sports in high school?

MILLER: YES. I DO TRACK. I DO THE SHOT AND THE DISCUS.

BigESunDvl: Are you good at them?

MILLER: I GOT FOURTH AT STATE LAST YEAR IN DISCUS. I HOPE TO IMPROVE ON THAT THIS YEAR, ALTHOUGH MISSING TRACK PRACTICES TO ATTEND SPRING FOOTBALL MAY HURT THOSE CHANCES.

BigESunDvl: let's travel back in time a bit...when did you first start playing football?

MILLER: I STARTED PLAYING POP WARNER FLAG FOOTBALL WHEN I WAS SIX

MILLER: DID THAT FOR A COUPLE YEARS THEN STARTED TACKLE FOOTBALL.

BigESunDvl: Did you take any breaks?

MILLER: NO. I PLAYED EVERY YEAR. IT WAS KIND OF FUNNY BECAUSE I HAD TO DROP WEIGHT EVERY SEASON TO MEET THE HEIGHT AND WEIGHT REQUIREMENTS FOR THE LEAGUE.

MILLER: I HAD TO WORK TO KEEP UNDER A CERTAIN WEIGHT IN ORDER TO BE ABLE TO PLAY.

BigESunDvl: were you any good in Pop Warner?

MILLER: YES. MY BROTHER AND I WERE ALWAYS THE STARS. I STARTED OFF AT RUNNING BACK AND THEN SWITCHED TO TIGHT END.

BigESunDvl: So how many years have you been playing TE?

MILLER: FOR THE LAST SIX.

BigESunDvl: what other positions did you play?

MILLER: I ALSO PLAYED MIDDLE LINEBACKER IN POP WARNER.

MILLER: IN HIGH SCHOOL I PLAYED DEFENSIVE END FOR A COUPLE YEARS...THEN MOVED TO MIDDLE LINE BACKER FOR MY SENIOR YEAR.

MILLER: I LIKE MIDDLE LINEBACKER TO DEFENSIVE END BECAUSE IT ALLOWS YOU TO MAKE MORE PLAYS AND THE OTHER TEAM CAN'T JUST RUN AWAY FROM YOU BECAUSE YOU ARE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE FIELD

BigESunDvl: At what point did you realize you love the game a lot?

MILLER: I AM A COMPETITIVE PERSON, SO I HAVE ALWAYS LOVED THE GAME. I LOVE THE PHYSICAL CONTESTS ON THE FIELD.

BigESunDvl: When did you realize...hey, I 'm pretty good at this...

MILLER: PROBABLY MY FRESHMAN YEAR OF HIGH SCHOOL WHEN I GOT MOVED UP TO VARSITY.

BigESunDvl: You've always just played tight end while in high school?

MILLER: YEP, AT LEAST ON THE OFFENSIVE SIDE.

BigESunDvl: What were your best accomplishments football and non-football wise in high school?

MILLER: FOOTBALL WISE IT WAS DEFINITELY RECEIVING THE STATE PLAYER OF THE YEAR. I WANTED TO GET THAT AWARD, BUT DIDN'T THINK I COULD DO IT AS A TIGHT END.

MILLER: IT IS MY FAVORITE AWARD

MILLER: NON-FOOTBALL WISE IT IS FINISHING WITH MY 4.0. SOMETIMES I DON'T EVEN KNOW HOW I DID IT.

BigESunDvl: You are a serious student...what will you major in at ASU?

MILLER: I AM GOING TO START OFF "UNDECIDED"...BUT WILL PROBABLY END UP MAJORING IN BUSINESS.

BigESunDvl: You gonna keep a 4.0 at ASU, too?

MILLER: I'M GONNA TRY...BUT IT WILL BE MUCH MORE DIFFICULT THAN IN HIGH SCHOOL!

BigESunDvl: Did you enjoy the recruiting process or did you look at it as too stressful?

MILLER: I ENJOYED IT FOR A WHILE, BUT IT SEEMED TO DRAG ON AFTER A WHILE.

MILLER: OVERALL, I ENJOYED IT, BUT I WAS READY FOR IT TO END

BigESunDvl: ASU had the hometown advantage, but how did your trip here stack up against your trips to some of the powerhouses, like Oklahoma and Miami?

MILLER: THE TRIPS WERE VERY SIMILAR, BUT ASU JUST DIDN'T HAVE THE SHOCK FACTOR THAT OTHERS HAD. I HAD NEVER BEEN TO THE OTHERS. THEY WERE NEW.

BigESunDvl: Did the stock factor have to do with just being new or was it something else?

MILLER: IT WAS MOSTLY JUST THE FACT THAT THOSE PLACES WERE NEW TO ME. TRIPS ARE GENERALLY VERY SIMILAR. AFTER MY FIFTH ONE, IT WAS KIND OF ROUTINE.

BigESunDvl: In your opinion, does ASU do a good job selling itself to visiting recruits?

MILLER: YES I THINK IT DOES.

BigESunDvl: What happens on the trip that you think most recruits are "wowed" by?

MILLER: WHEN THEY GIVE YOU YOUR JERSEY, PUT YOU IN THE STADIUM, AND PUT YOUR NAME UP ON THE JUMBOTRON. THAT USUALLY GETS YOU PRETTY PUMPED UP.

BigESunDvl: Rumor has it you have been going to spring practices...

BigESunDvl: Are you enjoying it and are you learning a lot?

MILLER: DEFINITELY. I LIKE BEING THERE AND I AM LEARNING A BUNCH. IT IS MUCH MORE COMPLICATED THAN A HIGH SCHOOL OFFENSE, SO I FEEL THAT BEING THERE WILL HELP ME IN AUGUST.

BigESunDvl: Do you get the itch to put on the pads and practice?

BigESunDvl: YES. IT IS HARD TO SIT THERE AND WATCH. I WANT TO PUT ON THE PADS, RUN THE ROUTES, AND PARTICIPATE IN THE DRILLS.

BigESunDvl: Has anything about the practices surprised you?

MILLER: NOT REALLY. I WENT LAST YEAR, TOO, SO I KNEW WHAT TO EXPECT. I AM IMPRESSED WITH HOW EFFICIENT THE PRACTICES ARE, THOUGH. THERE IS NEVER ANY STANDING AROUND.

BigESunDvl: Do you like watching the one-on-one drills?

MILLER: YEAH. IT IS VERY INTENSE. THE OFFENSE AND DEFENSE ARE BOTH REALLY INTO IT. IT IS A LOT OF FUN. I WISH I COULD GET IN THERE AND COMPETE.

BigESunDvl: What do you think of the move to the double TE formation?

MILLER: I REALLY LIKE IT (LAUGH). THE TIGHT ENDS WILL GET MANY MORE OPPORTUNITIES. I LIKE IT.

BigESunDvl: Spoken like a true TE there Zach!

BigESunDvl: One of your concerns coming in was competing with your brother for playing time...have those concerns been alleviated?

MILLER: YES. WE WILL BOTH HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO PLAY TOGETHER. IT IS JUST UP TO US TO BE THE BEST TWO ON THE TEAM.

BigESunDvl: How is your brother, Brent, doing with his knee and how is spring practice going for him?

MILLER: HE CANNOT HAVE ANY CONTACT, BUT HE IS LOOKING GOOD RUNNING AND GETTING USED TO BEING ON THE KNEE AGAIN.

BigESunDvl: Let's discuss your game...what are your strengths and weaknesses?

MILLER: STRENGTHS ARE MY ABILITY TO GET OPEN, SPEED, AGILITY, AND BLOCKING.

MILLER: WEAKNESSES ARE BEING IMPATIENT WHEN I RUN MY ROUTES AND BREAKING THEM OFF EARLY.

BigESunDvl: Do you feel your blocking is on par with your receiving ability?

MILLER: YES. I THINK SO.

MILLER: FINISHING MIGHT ALSO BE A WEAKNESS BECAUSE IN HIGH SCHOOL YOU DON'T PRACTICE THAT MUCH.

BigESunDvl: You get lot of comparisons to Todd Heap...who do you pattern your game after...

MILLER: I LIKE THE WAY JEREMY SHOCKEY RUNS OVER PEOPLE WHEN HE HAS THE BALL IN HIS HANDS. I PATTERN MY GAME AFTER HIM.

MILLER: HE IS A LITTLE CRAZY OFF THE FIELD, THOUGH.

The following are questions asked by some of the premium users attending the chat.

BayDevil: Zack, what are your goals for the 2004 season?

MILLER: MY GOAL IS TO START AND THAT IS ALL I AM FOCUSING ON RIGHT NOW.

MILLER: I WANT TO BE ON THE FIELD AND MAKE PLAYS AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.

Jomeca: Zack, can you put to rest any rumors of playing defense?

MILLER: YEAH. I AM FOCUSING ON OFFENSE AND LEARNING THE OFFENSE. I AM NOT PLAYING ANY DEFENSE.

BayDevil: Knowing that there are two experienced TE's in front of you, would you consider a redshirt year a disappointment?

MILLER: NO, IF I REDSHIRT THAT WOULD BE OKAY.

MILLER: I HOLD MYSELF TO HIGH EXPECTATIONS, SO I DON'T WANT TO REDSHIRT.

MILLER: I GUESS IT WOULD BE A LITTLE BIT OF A DISAPPOINTMENT IF I WAS NOT ABLE TO CONTRIBUTE THIS YEAR.

BigESunDvl: Zach, have you always been an ASU fan?

MILLER: YES. MY PARENTS HAVE ALWAYS BEEN SEASON TICKET HOLDERS, SO I HAVE BEEN GOING TO GAMES SINCE I WAS A LITTLE KID.

BigESunDvl: Do you have a favorite memory of an ASU game?

MILLER: WELL, UNFORTUNATELY I MISSED THE NEBRASKA GAME.

MILLER: THAT STILL BUGS ME A BIT.

Jomeca: Any favorite passing route you like to run/catch?

MILLER: I LIKE ANY DEEP ROUTE BECAUSE I LIKE TO GET THE BALL DOWN THE FIELD

BigESunDvl: AND IT LEADS TO TOUCHDOWNS FASTER!

Jomeca: Excellent!

BayDevil: One of the big criticisms of Koetter's offense last year was the fact that the TE was not used except for blocking purposes. What did Koetter say or indicate that this will change?

MILLER: IT HAS TO DO WITH GUYS GETTING THE JOB DONE.

MILLER: IF THE GUYS CAN BOTH BLOCK AND CATCH WELL, THEN THEY WILL HAVE OPPORTUNITIES TO DO BOTH.

BigESunDvl: So are you worried about the TE not being used?

MILLER: NO. IN SPRING BALL I CAN SEE THAT IF THEY MAKE PLAYS, THEY WILL GET THE BALL.

DevilDogOf87: Zach, w/o naming names were there any schools that offered, or came close to offering anything inappropriate to get you to sign?

MILLER: ACTUALLY, NO.

MILLER: NOBODY EVER OFFERED ME ANYTHING THEY WERE NOT SUPPOSED TO.

HodeASU: Do you think you'll feel extra pressure playing in front of family and friends at ASU?

MILLER: YES, THERE WILL BE SOME EXTRA PRESSURE AND PROBABLY SOME EXTRA MEDIA HYPE.

MILLER: I WILL TRY NOT TO LET IT AFFECT MY PLAY THOUGH. I WANT TO PLAY MY BEST.

HodeASU: Did it help (committing to ASU) knowing Coach Osborne through Brent's recruitment?

MILLER: YES IT HELPED.

MILLER: I GOT TO KNOW HIM A LOT EARLIER AND THAT IS ONE OF THE REASONS I CHOSE ASU.

BigESunDvl: Thank you Zach!!! Go Devils!!!

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