Syracuse has missed on a few offensive lineman in the 2013 class. Their solution has been to look towards the junior college prospects to see what they have to offer. While looking, offensive line coach Greg Adkins found a prospect he likes in Los Angeles Harbor's John Miller. Adkins took time to visit Miller on Monday.
"It was coach Adkins," Miller recalled. "He's the recruiting coordinator and offensive line coach at Syracuse. He first stopped by the school to visit with me and check-in to see how I was doing in class and pick up some transcripts.
"He just wanted to meet my parents and touch base with them to let them know what I'm going to be doing on my trip this weekend. And explain to them why they want me there because it's so far.
"He wanted to let them know the type of program they have over there and what they're trying to do over there. It was really cool. He basically told me the itinerary of what I'll be doing on the visit and what I could major in. He just put it all on the line."
In junior college, the 6-foot-4 310-pound lineman plays center. However, he believes the Orange want to slide him over to guard. His skill set will allow him to be successful wherever he plays.
"I am a center," Miller explained. "But they like me playing guard because of the things I can do out in space. They like what they see on my film because I do a lot of pulling. They like me to come in and compete for the starting guard spot next year.
"If things go well, I'll play guard right away. If I don't play next year then I could redshirt and have two years to play center for them because the guy that's there now would be a senior next season."
Across the country, sometimes it is hard for players to know a lot about Syracuse. After all, teams like USC, UCLA, Oregon, and others dominate the headlines in that area. But as the Orange started recruiting Miller, he made sure he learned more about the school.
"Before the season I had heard about them because of everything that was going on with conference realignment," Miller described. "Going to the ACC next year seems like a big move for them because they had been in the Big East. I kind of started following them a little bit more, and I had heard about their quarterback Ryan Nassib. He's been doing really good. There were always highlights of him throwing touchdowns, so I started watching more games.
"Then when they started recruiting me I started checking out their website. I learned some more things about them like it's a really prestigious school. That's just icing on the cake to me. I watched their last two games against Missouri and Temple after they offered me. I'm liking everything I'm seeing, really."
Syracuse is not the only school recruiting Miller, though it appears they are going after him the hardest. Despite wanting to sign early and enroll in January, he says he will not rush to a decision. Miller has to find the place that is the right fit for him.
"I'm wouldn't say I'm close to making my decision," he said. "I'm definitely going to take everything into consideration. I'm not going to make any rash decisions just yet. I want to make sure every aspect is right, including academics, the coaching staff, the facilities. The whole nine yards. I want to take into consideration, everything.
"I've also met with Memphis and New Mexico. Memphis has my transcripts and they're trying to get me to come out there to visit. I'm not sure if it's going to be next weekend or the weekend after. That's exciting because it'll give me something to compare Syracuse against. Most likely those two are it. I'm not sure if it's going to be an official visit to Memphis. They just wanted to make sure my transcripts get cleared. I'm assuming they will since they got cleared at Syracuse."
Even with not rushing to a decision, Miller knows he is under the gun. He has set his time frame accordingly, but still wants to make sure the decision is the correct one. If he only visits Syracuse and Memphis, that puts those schools in a good position with the talented lineman.
"I'm definitely going to make my decision by the end of the year because I am mid-year," Miller stated. "I'm going to be a December graduate and transfer in January anyway wherever I go. It's probably going to be before Christmas time for sure.
"I don't think I want to rush the process. I want to make sure I pick the right home for me because I'm going to be there for an extended period of time."
The decision by Syracuse to come out and visit was something that left a big impression on Miller. Meeting with his parents was very important, and stood out as an unexpected positive.
"It's definitely exciting with them wanting to come visit me and see my house," Miller said. "At first they had just offered me over the phone. I was excited, it was cool and everything. But when he came up to the school and said he wanted to meet my parents, I wasn't expecting that. Because I'm at a junior college I thought it was just strictly business. I thought that was something they would do more with the high school kids because they're a bit younger.
"I definitely like their tactic. It's something I definitely am happy they did with meeting my parents."
Miller is not the only Los Angeles Harbor player Syracuse is recruiting. Cornerback Cleshawn Page and linebacker Joe Walker will be taking their official visits together this weekend. The three have discussed the possibility of playing together at the next level.
"Definitely it would be amazing," Miller said. "Both of those guys are good friends of mine. We've talked about it here and there. We're not too sure yet because those two guys are being highly recruited right now. They don't even know necessarily who's going to offer.
"When the time comes, I'm sure the decision will be great. But if we did all go there it would be a lot of fun. It'd be great to have some friends from home with me. I can't think of anything better than that."