At Kansas, Miles finds the best fit

A little more than two weeks ago, things looked a whole lot different for Tampa (FL) Berekely Prep linebacker Schyler Miles. Ready to commit to Florida, he instead took one final visit to Kansas - and it's a good thing he did. Because on Wednesday afternoon, he inked his name to a National Letter of Intent with the Jayhawks.

A little more than two weeks ago, things looked a whole lot different for Schyler Miles.

In his mind, his collegiate future was set. A star linebacker at Tampa (FL) Berekely Prep, he was going to accept a scholarship offer from the University of Florida during an in-home visit with the staff.

But a new school had thrown itself into the mix recently - a new school, with a familiar face at the helm.

Kansas head coach Charlie Weis believes there exists an ethic in the world of recruiting; a right way and a wrong way to treat people who "just treated you right." Such was the case with Weis, who made the decision Dec. 8 to leave his post as the offensive coordinator at the University of Florida and accept the job in Lawrence, Kan.

He wasn't going to attempt to recruit anyone away from the Gators. Miles was the lone exception, Weis explained, because at the time the Florida staff wanted him as a running back. He wanted him at Kansas as a linebacker.

So when the Jayhawks made contact shortly after he was hired, Berkeley Prep head coach Dominick Ciao knew his ace defender had an official visit left. He and Miles' parents encouraged him to make the most of it, and check out what Kansas had to offer.

He didn't want to take the visit, but he did. And in hindsight, it was a pretty smart decision - because as of Wednesday, Schyler Miles is officially a Kansas Jayhawk.

"When I got there, I was just kind of shocked," he said. "It was really great, the facilities and the people around you."

Miles chose the Jayhawks over finalists Florida and West Virginia for a number of reasons, perhaps the most important of which was the opportunity to learn from a staff with so much NFL experience.

"Playing time was a big factor for me and I thought my best opportunity of starting all four years would maybe be at Kansas," he said. "And I had a really strong relationship with Coach (Dave) Campo, Coach Weis and Coach (Demontie) Cross."

"If you get a chance to get coached by coaches who have coached in Super Bowls, won Super Bowls and won (collegiate) national championships (you take it)," Miles added. "They produce great players and I just want to be a part of that."

In him, the Jayhawks are getting their middle linebacker of the future. At 6-foot-2 and 220 pounds, he's a heady defender who packs a wallop with his quickness, speed and overall athleticism.

He racked up a staggering 123 tackles in 2011, more than twice that of anyone else on the team - a team which finished the season 12-1.

"This guy is a linebacker who, every game you go to, it doesn't make any difference - put on a tape, he makes 20 tackles," Weis said. "Just put on any of them, it doesn't make a difference what game it is, doesn't make a difference who it's against, he's going to go and make 20 tackles."

After Miles returned home from his official visit, the Kansas staff kept the heat turned up, traveling to Tampa for a final in-home visit the following Wednesday, Jan. 25. After two days of deliberation, he notified the Kansas staff last Friday he would be signing with them.

"I talked to Coach Weis, actually I talked to all three of them, Coach Campo and Coach Cross," he said. "Coach Weis was the most excited I've ever heard him."

After he reports to Kansas in early June, he knows nothing will be guaranteed. But with enough hard work and dedication, Miles knows he can make himself a factor in the rotation and, hopefully, help get things moving in the right direction for Jayhawks football.

"With the record they had last year, you want to play for the seniors and the other kids on the team who went through that," he said. "Hopefully you can start a new tradition at KU and turn it around, and be a part of something great in the future."


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