Marcus Miller update, Part II

<i>Inside Carolina</i> gives you more of what you want from Marcus Miller. The JuCo linebacker recruit talks about his past visits – the good and the bad. See what he had to say about UNC, Kansas State and Marshall. He also talks about his family, and how big a factor distance will play into his decision.

One thing UNC is known for is having one of the most diverse campuses in the nation. Marcus Miller took notice.

"Diversity is good -- I have been able to adapt to stuff like that all my life," Miller said. "I have been in situations where I have been the only black guy. I would prefer a diverse atmosphere."

But, with each visit, there must come the good and the bad. Miller was more than open to discuss his take on each of his first three visits.

For one, life in Chapel Hill seemed a little slow-paced to Miller.

"I am not used to it since I am from Los Angeles. Just a little slow there, that was the only thing."

His next stop was Marshall. Just the mention gave Miller cold chills.

"West Virginia – WOW! What can I say? It was freaking cold. It was colder than I thought it would be. I thought I was at the North Pole. I had thermals on and that was not working. I don't even want to know what the wind chill was. It was like an ice box."

His next stop didn't get much warmer. Miller headed to Manhattan. Kansas that is -- a trip to Kansas State, and a town that lives for football season.

"It reminded me a little of West Virginia. I would have to fish everyday just to keep from going nuts. It got a little cold there. The town wasn't much. That town loves football and that is a good thing. Outside of that, it seems that life is non-existent."

Of course there were positives to speak of.

At the top of that list was a private jet that brought Miller to Chapel Hill.

"That threw me, it really split my wig," Miller said laughing. "I knew I was the man on that jet. It was like flying on a bus with wings."

"But on the way back, it was commercial for me. I think they were mad at me," he said jokingly. "They took me not committing the wrong way. It was just my first visit."

The best parts of the UNC visit came in Kenan Stadium and on Franklin Street.

"When they took us on the field and we put on (UNC) jerseys and looked up and saw our names. They called our names out and had the crowd sounds faked into the PA system."

Then came the now famous dinner at Spanky's on Franklin Street. That was the best part for Miller.

"There was all of these people – fans of UNC I guess – just people with posters with our names on it and pictures – it was great."

Despite the cold weather, there were good things at Marshall, too. Miller got to see the Thundering Herd play Ball State. He also spent time with all-everything quarterback Byron Leftwich.

"I just learned stuff from him about life in general," Miller said of the future NFL quarterback. "Talked about what he does and things like that. They stuffed me with food. I must have eaten five times a day there."

The trip to Kansas State introduced Miller, who does not drink alcohol, to something called "Aggie Town."

"It's a street with a bar on every corner," Miller said of the local watering holes that residents frequent for fun. "In each of these places, it is just packed with people, like 200 people dancing and drunk people all out on the street. If they know you play for KSU they want autographs. It was fun and dangerous at the same time. I am not a drinker so I was just amazed. It was just funny to see all those people."

Miller knows all too well how fragile college football can be. When he arrived at Cerritos, he says his team took its share of beatings. As he puts it, any given year, you can have a good season or a bad season.

"It's hard to stay consistent. I have seen UNC's situation far too many times. Respectable schools have their times where they are down, but not out. When I got here (Cerritos), we got our butts whipped and we were not up to status. But, you bounce back."

Those who know John Bunting will tell you he does not accept failure. He has won everywhere he has been. Miller knows this, too.

"He (Bunting) is going to recruit the best he can. And with those guys, he is going to do the best he can, or die trying. It's the effort, what are you doing to get better?

"That is what I looked for in Bunting. What are we going to do to get there? I see what he is trying to do. I don't see (UNC's record last season) as a problem (in going there)."

Miller added that expectation levels are different at each school.

"At KSU they are used to winning so you have to be on your game. That is another reason it is so difficult. I never expect it to be the same (anywhere)."

Miller's college choice is sure to move him away from his home in California, but he said distance is very minor in considering his college choice.

"It's going to have to happen," Miller said of leaving home. "Every school recruiting me is outside of California. I have to leave the nest. It's nothing really because football is football. I don't want to be away from my family but it has to be done."

Meanwhile, throughout the recruiting process, Miller's family has not openly pushed him in any direction.

"I'm sure they want me to (stay close) in some sense, but the brother's before me had to leave home," said Miller, the youngest of four males in his family. "That has given me the ability to make my own decision and they have given me the freedom to do so. If they want me to stay close, it hasn't been said."

Miller talks to his brothers about once a week, despite the fact that he says they are hard to find at times.

"They rip and run. They could be your neighbor and you might not see them for a month. I have to keep playing football just to see my whole family together. They seem to show up when it comes times to pick up tickets for games."

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