Talented Safety Has Offers; Likes UM

One of the top prospects on a tremendously talented football team, this safety prospect caught the eyes of several schools this spring, including the University of Miami.

While most recruiting fans think of super prospects Joe Cohen and Reggie Nelson when they think of Palm Bay High School, college coaches are also thinking of several other talented prospects, such as safety Eric Miller.

I first watched Miller as a junior, as he helped a Palm Bay defense carry its team to the state semi-finals last season. I watched Miller again at the NIKE Camp in April, where he was among the top safeties. He measured at 6-foot-1 ½ and 177 and ran a blazing 4.12 shuttle time.

Now around 185 pounds, Miller is primed for a huge senior season.

"We're working really hard as a team," Miller told me. "We have a lot of seniors that are really hungry and we know that we must work hard."

Despite his athletic ability, Miller hasn't always played a skilled position.

"When I started playing ball when I was 8, I played tight end and defensive end," Miller said. "It was a lot of fun. I was smaller than the offensive lineman, so I was always a lot quicker and would just run around them having fun with it. Then I started playing running back and wide receiver because they wanted me to have the football."

Miller now doubles as a wide receiver and free safety for a tremendously talented Palm Bay secondary that also includes Reggie Nelson (strong safety who plays a walk-up linebacker position), cornerback Ron Ellis, and twin brother Thomas Miller.

Miller also runs track (high hurdles and 4x4 relays) and plays basketball (power forward). Inside the classroom, he has a 3.2 core and is still waiting for his test scores to come back.

In the meantime, he's been busy talking to college coaches from all over.

"I talked to a lot of coaches that called here last month," he said. "The University of Florida called, UCF, Alabama called, Illinois, Indiana, Miami, North Carolina, and Maryland."

Miller said he already has some written scholarship offers.

"In the mail, I have them from Indiana, Illinois, Northern Illinois, and Bowling Green," he said. "Some of the other schools said they will offer, but I haven't gotten them yet."

The talented safety said one school does stand at the top of his current list of favorites.

"Florida is currently No. 1 on my list," he said. "Miami is No. 2, then UCF, and probably Maryland."

Miller then compared the two in-state schools.

"Florida called and said they like me and want me to come visit there in the fall," he said. "Coach Zook came here to the school and that they want both me and my brother. They're my favorite because they're giving me the most attention right now. I like the location of the school, and I like the coaches that are recruiting me. Coach Odom is really cool."

"Miami's also a great school," he said. "They called and wanted to know if I was interested in coming to their school for a visit or whatever. They have a great team and they're just coming off a national title and everything so they provide an excellent opportunity. They're also close to home, but it's just that Florida seems to be giving me more attention right now."

Miller, who plans on attending a summer camp in Lakeland next month, said he has one thing on his mind right now.

"More than anything is I plan on going out and helping our team make the state title game and winning it," he said. "That's where we all want to be at the end of the season."

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