Battle brewing for in-state star

OREGON STATE WAS the first to offer Lake Oswego standout Gabe Miller -- but the Beavs have some competition, both from in and outside of the Pacific Northwest. His prep coach says the 6-4, 230-pound Miller looks to be one of those players who can excel at any number of positions at the next level, something that has not gone unnoticed by a number of a schools.

Miller, who could arguably be the state of Oregon's top prep prospect in the 2006 recruiting class when its all said and done, holds offers from Oregon State, Oregon and Colorado. The Buffs extended their scholarship offer to Miller on Monday afternoon.

"Oregon offered me at their camp, and just (Monday), Colorado offered," said Miller. "I called coach (Craig) Bray and he said coach (Gary) Barnett wanted to talk to me. So I talked with coach Barnett, he offered me and said the scholarship offer is in the mail. I was pretty excited about that."

Miller said he's also been hearing quite a bit from Washington, and has been keeping in touch with the three schools who've offered, including Oregon State, calling them on average about once a week this summer.

"I'm waiting a little bit to set up (official visits)," he said. "Maybe during September when coaches are able to call me once a week, I might set some up then."

Miller said all schools are even right now.

"No one is really head and shoulders above anyone else," he said. "I'm still trying to keep my options open. They're all at pretty much the same place for me."

EARLIER THIS YEAR, schools were mostly talking to him about linebacker, but Miller said they're now talking to him more often about making his mark on the offensive side of the ball.

"When I was talking to coach Barnett (Monday), he said he's looking at me as more of an offensive player, maybe as a tight end, fullback or h-back" said Miller. "And the Oregon and Oregon State have both told me that they'd like me to play either offense or defense -- Oregon's looking at me as either an h-back or linebacker, and Oregon State's looking at me as maybe a tight end or linebacker."

The prospects of Miller on offense is certainly an intriguing one -- he has uncommon speed for a big man. Miller set the state's ninth fastest time in the high hurdles this track season with a 15.5 mark. Miller said he does not have a preference between offense and defense, saying whatever position gets him on the field is fine with him.

"He's very athletic, runs very well for a big guy," says Lake Oswego High coach Steve Coury. "He's a kid that's big and physical enough, and he could maybe get a lot bigger so it's, 'Is he going to be a linebacker or a defensive end?' Which is a good problem to have. He plays fullback for us. And he has great, soft hands -- so maybe he's a tight end. There's just so many things with that size -- and that ability to run -- that he may be able to do at the next level."

Gabe Miller profile

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