Miller's on the visitor list

Florida native Patrick Miller will be in Baton Rouge this weekend.

It’s Florida week, and LSU has secured visits from Avery Johnson and Patrick Miller, the two 2012 commitments the Tigers’ coaches have secured out of the Sunshine State.

Because his high school team is on a bye week, Miller – LSU’s most recent commitment – is scheduled to head to Baton Rouge on an official visit, which will begin on Friday and run through the weekend.

“My coaches understand that the bye week gives me a chance to handle my future plans, so they had no problem with me getting away for the weekend,” Miller said. “I’m stoked about it.”

Miller went public with his commitment on Sept. 9, giving LSU 19 commitments for the 2012 class.

Despite offers from Florida, Florida State and Miami, the Palm Beach Gardens resident had his sights set beyond his home state’s border.

His final two schools were LSU and Auburn.

“I was never a big fan of any school,” Miller said. “Most people here are huge UF fans or Miami or Florida State, and nowhere else. I figured that I might as well go find things out.

“I went to LSU twice, Auburn twice, Oklahoma, Florida, Florida State, and Miami. The two places I liked the most were Auburn and LSU. So I went back to both places and just felt like I fit in the best in Baton Rouge.”

Miller credits LSU wide receivers coach Billy Gonzales with sparking his initial interest in the Tigers, thanks in large part to Gonzales recruiting 2011 Dwyer High standouts Jacoby Brissett, Curt Maggitt and Nick O’Leary.

A tight end at Florida State, O’Leary has caught a pass in every game this season, and Maggitt has recorded 19 tackles as at Tennessee. Thanks to John Brantley’s injury, Brissett could see action at quarterback against LSU this weekend.

While the Tigers missed on all three of those Dwyer players, Gonzales put in the extra effort to land Miller.

“I saw (Gonzales) recruiting those other guys, so he got on me early,” Miller said. “Coach Gonzales was always in there talking to Curt and Nick and Jacoby, so I would always see him. Over time he became that familiar face. The next thing you know, I was a prospect.

“That’s when I met (offensive coordinator Greg Studrawa) and (Les) Miles.”

Miller caught the Tigers in action this spring, where he got an up-close look at Studrawa and Miles in action.

“I feel like they know what goes on in the trenches and what a lineman deals, so that is so huge,” Miller said.
“Stud is awesome. A lot of coaches are intense, but he knows when to be intense, and he’s just a refreshing guy. I like how he is around the players. I like how he conducts himself. I came to that practice and he gets after it, and that’s contagious.”

Miller said his commitment to LSU is firm, and he won’t be visiting other schools and considers his recruitment process closed.

“I don’t even talk with coaches anymore,” he said. “Everyone knows I am committed and that’s going to stick.

“The case for me was that the second I know I’m going somewhere then I will know, and know for sure. I will give someone my word and not come back on that.”

So far this season, Miller has lined up primarily at left tackle, but has also gotten reps on the defensive line. At 6-foot-7, 285 pounds, Miller said his offseason workload provided a newfound athleticism.

“I am healthy and everything is going good, so I felt like all this work paid off,” he said. “My main goal was to get big enough to lose weight during the season but keep all my muscle on. I finally realized how important that was.

“I got up to 285-290 pounds. My lowest number has been 270. Right now I am moving really well at 285. This summer I ran a 5.0 (40-yard dash) at The Opening, so now I feel like lightning.”

After winning a Class 4A state championship at Dwyer in 2009, Miller said he one day hopes to add a college title to his resume – a goal made more real by LSU’s current No. 1 ranking in the polls.

“People question prospects leaving the state, but nobody can say anything to me,” he said. “They come up to me and ask how it feels to be committed to the No. 1 team, and I tell them it’s great.”

This week with the Gators headed to Baton Rouge fresh off a loss to Alabama, Miller is kicking back his feet and enjoying the committed life.

“It’s going to be a fun week for me,” he said. “There is no more analyzing on all these recruiting trips. Now I can just lay back and try to get know people. I met a bunch of kids on my two other visits.

“I will even be doing some recruiting for LSU.”

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