Vols lead for Miles

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With football season in hibernation, it is up to Cuonzo Martin and the Tennessee basketball team to provide an electric atmosphere for not only basketball recruits, but unofficial football visitors as well. And they did just that Saturday afternoon against Vanderbilt.

A host of current Tennessee Volunteers, coaches and recruits were all in attendance for the home team's win over Vandy, 68-61. It was so electric, in fact, that Peach State defensive back Donnie Miles called it the highlight of his trip.

"The highlight of the day for me was going to the basketball game and walking out of the tunnel with coach (Derek) Dooley," Miles told InsideTennessee. "Everybody was going crazy at the basketball game. The fan support was off the charts. It was good to see."

The 5-foot-11, 205-pounder, couldn't help but imagine what things will be like this fall when the Vols lace 'em up in Neyland Stadium with similar fan support.

"I loved Tennessee when I was down there. They are definitely my top school right now."
-Donnie Miles
"I can't image what it is like in Neyland Stadium when the fans are going crazy like that," he said. "It is one of the biggest stadiums in the country and the biggest in the SEC. It is really cool to see."

The North Gwinnett (Ga.) High School prospect is just another in a long line of prospects that was blown away by the new facilities springing up on campus.

"I got to see all the new facilities and what the new indoor training facility is going to look like," Miles said. "I got to see the student center for athletes and the locker room at the stadium and everything like that. Everything was really nice."

Miles currently has offers from Tennessee and Duke with a possible offer on the horizon from North Carolina. Dooley and the Vols, however, may have an edge with new defensive backs coach Derrick Ansley, who already had a relationship with Miles.

"I talked to coach Ansley before when he was at Central Florida," Miles said. "This was the first time that I was able to meet him in person and it was good to get to know him. I really like him as a person and he seems like a person that I can come and talk to. I wouldn't mind playing for him one day."

With a 10-2 2011 season in the rearview mirror, Miles now is trying to improve his game for his senior season.

"I am trying to stay in the weight room right now and improve my speed too," Miles said. "I want to improve my body and improve mentally too by watching more film this offseason. As a player, I like to get up in the receiver's face and press them."

Miles added that he would like to commit just before the beginning of his senior season, but he now has a clear leader in the process.

"I loved Tennessee when I was down there," he said. "They are definitely my top school right now."

Chris Price is a staff writer for InsideTennessee.com. He was previously an intern for the site for two years before graduating from the University of Tennessee. He joined the InsideTennessee team in 2009.

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