TE Loves UM's Tradition

At 6-foot-4 and 240 pounds, Phoenix (Ariz.) Desert Vista standout tight end Zach Miller has been a varsity starter since his ninth grade year.

"I actually started playing flag football when I was seven years old," Miller said. "I started playing tackle when I was about eight or nine. It's just something I've always loved doing."

Miller, whose 6-5, 230-pound brother Brent just signed with Arizona State, also competes on the varsity track team where he throws the shot put (50 feet) and discus (165).

As a junior last season, Miller played on both sides of the football. Offensively, he caught 27 passes for 520 yards and six touchdowns. Defensively, he collected 102 tackles, 15 for loss, and 11 quarterback sacks.

Miller became a national recruit this spring and one reason for it is because of his outstanding performance at the NIKE Training Camp, where he ran a blistering 4.26 shuttle time, showing off outstanding quickness, balance, and agility.

A full academic qualifier (4.0/24), Miller is being recruited nationally right now. Numerous college coaches visited his school and called in May.

"I can't even begin to tell you how many of them have been talking to me," he said. "There have been so many that it's tough to keep track of. I'm up to 19 scholarship offers now, too."

With all that attention, the talented tight end said there are six schools that stand out in his mind right now.

"The major ones I'm looking at are Miami, USC, Michigan, Tennessee, UCLA, and ASU," he said. "All six of them have offered me a scholarship. The ones I like the most are Miami, Arizona State, and USC."

Miller talked more about the Hurricanes.

"Basically they told me they needed a tight end this year and they wanted me to be that guy," he said. "The thing I really like about Miami is how they use their tight end. A lot of these coaches tell me how they throw the ball to the tight end a lot but saying it and doing it are two different things. Miami says they throw to the tight end and they actually do. I've followed their tight ends for the last several years -- I've watched Kellen Winslow, Jeremy Shockey, and Bubba Franks. They have a great tradition of tight ends there and I love that."

Miller said he's watched all three of them closely over the past few seasons.

"All of them caught a lot of balls at Miami and they're all great players," he said. "I love watching Shockey run over people. Miami's definitely near the top of my list and I plan on making a visit there."

Many people are wondering how the talented tight end will be affected by the fact that his brother will be at Arizona State this fall.

"There really isn't any pressure right now," he said. "I'm sure when things start to really heat up that will change but it's probably not going to matter. He's doing his own thing there and I'm going to have to do mine."

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