Ryan Miller is state's top OL prospect

Nick Saban and his staff did not make offensive linemen a top priority for the Class of 2003, so the Tigers signed only two of them.<br><br> 2004 will be a good year for Louisiana in regards to men in the trenches and one of the top center recruits in the South resides in the Southwest corner of the state in Lake Charles.

Barbe center Ryan Miller (6-6, 310, 5.2) comes from a program that has produced some top flight recruits over the years but he may be the best offensive lineman to ever come out of the Buccaneers' program.

"Ryan has got the tools in his trade to be one of the best centers we've ever had," said Barbe running backs coach Ted Nixon. "He can do just regular snapping or he can deep snap. He can pull, reach and do all of the different things you want a lineman to do."

Miller has an impressive bench press mark of 345 pounds but his quickness in the middle may be his best attribute.

"Once he latches on he's pretty good with that load coming at you," Nixon told Tiger Rag. "He's also pretty quick, not to mention being so strong in the weight room."

He was on his way to an All-State selection in his junior season before he broke the fibula in his leg midway through the campaign but that has not stopped coaches from LSU, Texas A&M, Georgia, Oklahoma and Texas from putting on the heat early in the recruiting process.

"LSU has been here before," said Nixon. "He's been to their camp before and he has done stuff with them in the past. His dad has some kind of connection with Texas A&M but I really don't know what it is. That's all I know.

"We really don't get too involved with recruiting. We let the coaches come in and do their spill and then the kid goes home and talks to his parents or whoever else is involved with his decision."

Sonny's View: Miller will undoubtedly be the state's No. 1 center for 2004 and this could come down to an LSU/A&M battle. It's not often centers with his size and agility comes along so he will be a hot commodity over the next 11 months. Expect his offer list to grow considerably after he displays his talent at camps and combines.

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