Miller Pushing to Qualify

With the end of the high school calendar year on the horizon, it's coming down the stretch academically for one of the biggest stars in North Carolina's 2006 Signing Day class. According to his high school coach, linebacker Jarrell Miller has made a strong push in what appears will be a close call to qualify for the 2006 season.

"Jarrell has really turned it on here lately in school," Highland Springs coach Scott Burton said on Thursday. "It's going to be nip and tuck the last few weeks of school here. Hopefully this late surge here will put him over the top."

Miller, who just celebrated his 19th birthday, is ranked the No. 9 linebacker in the senior class by He posted 99 tackles, 17 tackles for losses and 7.5 sacks as a senior, and recorded 60 tackles, including eight for losses as a junior.

"Jarrell's got a great presence right in the middle of the defense," Highland Springs defensive coordinator Jason Meade said. "He knows what everybody is supposed to be doing and where everybody is supposed to be set up. He makes the show run out there. ... He plays with a lot of enthusiasm and emotion -- that passion is what made him who he is."

On the Tar Heels official Signing Day roster, Miller is listed at 6-3, 235 pounds, but Meade speculated in an IC interview earlier this year that Miller had room to grow.

"I think he can get a lot bigger," Meade said in January. "I think his body can hold a lot more weight and we'll see what happens. He's going to be a heck of a middle linebacker in the ACC in a couple of years."

When asked on Thursday if Miller had put on weight this spring and whether or not he was considering a change of position, Burton declined to comment.

"He's still very excited about Carolina," Burton replied. "Sorry. I'm not trying to be evasive; I'm just trying to protect Jarrell a little bit.

"He's just trying to focus on getting down to Chapel Hill."

Miller, who also participates in the shot put and discus, won both events during a track meet on Wednesday.

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