Three-Sport Star Down To Three Schools

Auburn is on the short list for one of the top athletes in the Class of 2003.

Selma, Ala--There's not much Selma High quarterback Jai Miller can't do on the football field or the basketball court or even the baseball diamond for that matter.

As perhaps the top all-around athlete in Alabama this year, the 6-4, 195-pounder with 4.5 speed is considered a top priority for both football and basketball coaches around the country. Also a top student who will finish at or near the top of his graduating class, he has wasted little time in narrowing his choices down to a select three schools. Hoping to play both sports on the next level, he tells Inside The Auburn Tigers that he will choose between Auburn, Alabama and Stanford when the time comes.

"Auburn is close to home," he said of the advantages of choosing the Tigers. "I've had close friends of the family and family members to go there and play sports there. I've got a teammate there now (Ben Obomanu) playing football. It's just a good place to play football.

"Alabama was probably the first school that started recruiting me. I know they are on probation in football, but the basketball program has come alive the last few years. They're ranked as one of the top teams in the country. I have a few friends up there as well and it's also close to home.

"Stanford is the best academic school in the country. They also have a guy that is playing two sports right now (Teyo Johnson). That helps because it shows that it actually can be done in that program. I think a degree from Stanford would set me up for the rest of my life. The only downside is that it is far from home."

Jai Miller

A powerful passer in the pocket with the ability to get on the corner and put pressure on the defense, Miller is the prototypical quarterback in this day and age of pressure defenses that blitz from every angle. He has led the Saints to a 2-2 record this season despite the loss of Obomanu from the attack. But, his speed also makes him a real threat to play any number of positions on the collegiate level. This summer he worked at both quarterback and wide receiver during an Auburn summer camp and was impressive at both positions.

While his options are open on the football field, he also has several choices on the basketball court as well. An outstanding all-around player who averaged 18 points, six rebounds, five assists and three steals per game last season for the Saints playing everything from point guard to the post, he has shown college basketball coaches that he can get the job done on the hardwood as well. While he says it won't be a determining factor, the basketball programs at each school will come into play in his recruiting.

"With all three schools their basketball programs are up pretty good so that's pretty much kind of even," he notes. "I would say basketball-wise Alabama probably has an advantage because they are ranked in the Top 10 in the country, but Stanford would be a close second. In football all three schools are probably neck-and-neck."

With first-hand knowledge of both Auburn and Alabama after several visits to each campus, including visits to the Plains for both the Western Carolina game and the Vanderbilt game and to Tuscaloosa for the Georgia game, Miller plans to see what Stanford has to offer this weekend. Taking his first of five official visits a prospect can make, he will travel to Palo Alto, Calif., to see the Cardinal in its homecoming game. A strong contender last fall for the services of Obomanu, don't be surprised if first-year coach Buddy Teevens keeps the Cardinal in the running for quite a while and could be the surprise winner in the sweepstakes for Miller.

Tiger Ticket Extra: Also a standout on the baseball diamond, he hit over .400 last spring with a slugging percentage of better than .700 from his center field spot. A threat to get drafted by a Major League Baseball team in next year's amateur draft, Miller says that he hasn't even considered that possibility yet and isn't sure he wants to go that direction.

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