BREAKING: Physical, versatile DB to Idaho

THE VERBAL COMMITS FROM THIS WEEKEND just keep on coming for the Vandals. A versatile defensive back out of Pomona, Calif., one who likes to bring the lumber with him, has gone silver and gold. Cornerback and safety are not generally interchangeable positions -- the required skills set differ between the secondary spots. But he looks to have the skills to play one or the other for Idaho in '08.

Shelton Miles will likely get his first look at cornerback in Moscow this coming fall, but his versatility and safety experience is also in part what drew Idaho to him, he said.

Miles (5.10, 180, 4.5) chose Idaho over an offer from UTEP and recruiting love from Boise State, Arizona State, Oregon State, Nevada and Fresno State.

"Idaho felt that I was versatile between the corner and the safety position," said Miles. "Coach (Patrick) Libey, the DBs coach, he also told me he liked how I came up and played a physical game.

"They told me they'd like me to come in and try for the corner position but they want to pretty much get me up there in camp and see where I fit in at. I don't have a preference, I really don't care, I'm just trying to make plays."

He made plenty of them his senior year. Playing at safety, he was second on the team in tackles at Diamond Ranch High, with 74 (51 solo) tackles. He also added 54 rushes for 356 yards and 2 TDs on offense, and hauled in another two touchdown passes.

A SOLID CORNERBACK has the hips, speed and make-up speed. And being strong in run support is key. The best safeties act like quarterbacks in the defensive backfield, with instinctual plus read and react skills a requisite.

"I have the (smarts) to read an offense, and I can point out where teams are going -- I have a knack for that," said Miles. "At the corner position, I don't think you'll find somebody who will come up and hit as hard as I do."

For Miles, the official visit experience at Idaho this past weekend closed the deal for him.

"It was great. The team was close. I love the program, I love the coaches. There was great team unity there," he said.

Following the official trip out to Moscow, Miles went home to talk things over with his family before making the pledge to Robb Akey. It wasn't long before he pulled the trigger.

"I came back home and had been back home for about 6-7 hours, and I had talked to my family and my mom. And then I...told him I was ready to be a Vandal. He said 'Welcome to the Vandal family!"

OUTGOING AND UPBEAT himself, it would appear Miles and Akey have already formed a strong bond. Miles said he found himself smiling every time Akey cranked up the volume and called him "Bubba".

"He's real loud with that one, he'll find you -- and he'll find you anywhere," laughed Miles. "And when he says it, everyone looks so you don't know who he's talking to....But when he says it, everyone's gonna look for him!"

"I'm eager to get up there. I've got something (scholarship) now that's pushing me forward to get up there. I'm just trying to do it for my family and get them in a better position in life."

Shelton Miles profile

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