NC State has been on again, off again with Gaffney (SC) defensive end Jaylen Miller through much of 2012. However, since the hiring of Dave Doeren, the Wolfpack's new head coach along with DL coach Ryan Nielsen have made the senior lineman a priority and that's helped land State squarely among Miller's list of top schools.
At 6-2, 260 pounds, Miller saw extensive action on Saturday, lining up on both sides of the line of scrimmage. While he finished with just one tackle, he was instrumental as a blocker on a couple of the Sandlapper's touchdown drives. His biggest play came on special teams, though.
North Carolina scored a late touchdown that cut South Carolina's lead to four. The extra point attempt would've put the Tar Heels within three but Miller burst through the Tar Heel line and came up with a huge block. Miller talked with Pack Pride afterwards about that particular play.
"I do whatever I can. If I have to play offense, defense, special team, whatever, I'll do it to help the team win.
"My coach just told me to go 100% every play. I never take a play off. As long as there's time on the clock, go 100%. So, I'm used to it, I stuck to it and I came away with the blocked extra point."
Although he played both offensive and defensive line, Miller said he loves pinning his ears back and getting after the QB.
"I love getting after the quarterback," said Miller. "I love coming off the edge in pass rush. There was some holding but I can't complain. I'm just blessed to play."
On the recruiting side, Miller has six schools vying for five visits spots during January and early February.
"I'm taking my official visits to Wake Forest, Maryland, Georgia Tech, NC State and it's between UNC and Marshall for my last visit."
So what about NC State?
"Coach Nielsen, soon as he came in I was the first person he called. He came to my school and visited my parents already. He calls me and he's a cool dude and he's nice to talk to. He's like trying to grow a personal relationship with me and I'll let him because he seems like the type of guy to lean on. I think I'm visiting them the first weekend in February."
Miller finished up 2012 with an astonishing 27 sacks while helping Gaffney to the state 4A championship.