Dorleant's Coach: He's A Steal

Lely HS coach Dave Miller gives his take on 2011 prospect Makinton Dorleant.

Second-year head coach at Lely High School in Florida, Dave Miller, has seen defensive back Makinton Dorleant blossom into the highly coveted player that he is, but is more impressed with his character.

“He’s definitely taken more responsibility with himself, especially when he realized that he has an opportunity to go on and use his talent to get a better education,” Miller said. “That’s first and foremost, and I think he’s really seen that now that education comes before anything.”

Dorleant has been hastily recruited by West Virginia, Wisconsin, Texas Tech, Iowa State, Middle Tennessee State, Florida International and Maryland. After committing to Wisconsin in July, he recently withdrew his commitment and has narrowed his sites on becoming a Terp.

He will be visiting College Park for three days this weekend, and depending on how the trip goes, he may issue his commitment in the following weeks,

“He’s a great player and a great talent. He has great natural ability and a great upside to him,” Miller said. “Whoever gets him is getting a steal.”

Dorleant is well-sized at 5-foot-11, 170-pounds, and runs roughly a 4.45. He played safety at Lely, but will transfer his talents to the corner position at the next level.

“With his speed and athletic ability at the corner position, he’ll likely be a shutdown-type corner,” Miller said.

He also works hard in the weight room. Miller said last year he was putting up a 250-pound bench press, 250-pound power clean and a 350-pound squat.

“He’s definitely got the mentality where hard work and the weight room lead to more success on the football field,” Miller said.

Miller has been coaching at Lely for seven years, but last year was his first taking over the head coaching position. That year, in Dorleant’s junior season, he blocked three punts and two field goals to go along with his 48 tackles in a season that drew attention.

Two of the punts were returned for touchdowns, and the blocked field goals set up good position for his coach.

“It’s just him coming off the edge and using his speed and athletic ability to create havoc back there,” Miller said. “That’s all him.”

Dorleant was one-of-three returning players to a young Trojans team this year that ended the season with almost 15 freshmen on the team in a season that ended 2-8.

“The senior class helped tutor the younger kids and help get them in the right direction so they can have success in years to come,” Miller said. “That’s the biggest thing, is watching these younger kids develop because of what the seniors did, especially Makinton.”

Miller is from Maryland, and keeps a small grasp on what ACC Coach of the Year Ralph Friedgen and the football program is doing here.

“He’s a great coach. He’s got a good staff underneath him. I know they have some talent,” Miller said. “They had a couple down years, but their trying to get back up to where it once was.”

Dorleant would be joining the Terps secondary led by juniors Kenny Tate and Cameron Chism. Tate had three interceptions last year and returned one for a touchdown along with 94 tackles and 3.5 sacks. Chism added 64 tackles along with a blocked kick and a fumble recovery.

“I think he can compete right away, definitely at the corner position just cause of his athletic ability,” Miller said. “He’s fast. He’s quick. I think he can improve his break on the ball, but that’s going to come with time.”

Dorleant has never really explored outside of South Florida, so the change in scenery may take some adjustment.

“I don’t think he’s going to mind it too much. He went to Wisconsin and it was pretty cold up there,” Miller said. “He just wants to get out and take that next step in his life.”

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