Marcus Miller update, Part I

As promised, IC's Mac Heffner brings you the latest from highly-touted JUCO linebacker Marcus Miller of Cerritos Comm. College. UNC is still in the race with two other programs, but Miller isn't tipping his hat. Check back tomorrow for Part II.

Marcus Miller is enjoying the New Year by kicking back with his family as he prepares for his final semester at Cerritos Community College (Cali.).

His next stop is Oregon this weekend for his fourth official visit.

"Everything is pretty good," Miller told IC on Wednesday. "Arizona called just a few days ago. They came in late and I might check that out. They might fill in the last visit. But, they came in late so we will see how that is goes. I'm excited about the Oregon trip. It's been known for good fishing and scenery. It rains a bit there."

So with the third visit approaching, the question is, where do the Tar Heels stand with Miller?

"Nothing has changed basically; I'm taking the pros and cons of each school and lining it up. It's real tough for me – a lot of stuff I like and not much that I don't. At the end of the day, it's a decision that must be made."

However, Miller is admittedly tiring of the whole recruiting process.

"I'm tired of it all," Miller said. "School is about to start again for me on the 13th. From then on, it's nothing but school for me so I don't think I will be making a fifth visit."

And, what exactly is Miller looking for?

"Basically, I'm looking for a place that is going to be stable and also has academics. Not everybody makes it to the pros -- there is life after football. I want to make sure I have an education and that is important to me. I want to go to a program that is known for football and that is stable -- and also with starting spots available. I have no time and I can't afford to sit the bench. I want to make sure I have a chance to compete."

Miller knows that schools will offer -- or at least promise – the world. He knows that coaches can promise playing time, but he doesn't buy into all the talk.

"I'm well aware that they are going to feed you sugar. They are going to do what they can to sell their school and that is the nature of it. I ask question about what the depth chart looks like, the grad rates and I talk to deans and academic people.

"Whatever answer I get, I usually give a poker face to them and soak it in so I can weigh it out when I get home."

North Carolina was Miller's first stop on Nov. 24, then came a trip to Marshall (Nov. 28), followed by a visit to Kansas State (12-13).

With three brothers – two of which played Division I college football – there were very few surprises.

"I kind of knew what to ask and stuff because of them," Miller said of his brothers' experience. One brother played at Washington and another spent time on the gridiron at USC. But, as Miller said, "you have to see for yourself."

One problem for Miller, who has been a standout for two seasons under long-time Cerritos coach Frank Mozzota, is that he is getting more comfortable with each passing visit.

"That is what makes it so hard," Miller said. "I know what is going on (at UNC) and I think highly of Coach Bunting and the staff there. I think about it all the time. It's a great chance for me to go there and play. With K State, it's the same thing. It's not North Carolina as far as the atmosphere. There is playing time there, too. It's really a toss up."

And what are those close to the JUCO ranks saying about Miller, who was often overlooked and overshadowed by Cerritos teammate and Arizona State signee Justin Burks?

Hank Ives, publisher and editor of, has seen Miller play six times in the last two seasons.

"I think he is a very talented linebacker. He kind of played in the shadow of Burks, but Marcus was in on a lot of tackles. He played the last three or four games with a broken left hand. He had it in a big mitt but he still did a good job. A lot of schools were looking at both of those boys."

So really, where does UNC fit in with Miller when he looks at his other favorite, Kansas State? Some think that UNC's reputation as a basketball school has hurt its football program. Miller does not see it that way.

In Miller's words, "UNC – bottom line – they produce athletes.

"(Julius) Peppers, (Dre') Bly -- the list goes on. They have loads of talent. Coach Bunting speaks for himself – his experience in the pros and in college -- it's good."

Check back tomorrow for Part II ...

Inside Carolina Top Stories