Vol coaches 'showed a lot of love'

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It isn't often that 15-year old high school athletes just starting their freshman year are hearing from college coaches about playing for their respective teams.

Then again, Malik Miller is anything but "ordinary." Just ask his coach at Madison (Ala.) Academy, Eric Cohu.

"He's got great potential to be a great running back and linebacker for us," Cohu said of the Class of 2016 prospect.

Measuring in at 5-foot-10, 205 pounds at Tennessee's July football camp, the Huntsville, Ala., native is already hearing from Alabama, Vanderbilt and other Southeastern Conference programs. Miller is not letting the process get to his head.

"I don't really think about it much," the linebacker told InsideTennessee. "I just try not to focus on the recruiting process and just try to get better."

Spending various days this summer camping with the Crimson Tide and the Commodores, Miller has seen his share of SEC caliber programs this year to compare his trip to Rocky Top against. He leaves Knoxville "liking Tennessee a lot."

"I liked the visit. They showed a lot of love," Miller said. "I like the people here. The facility is real nice. I like the coaches. They helped me, and they critiqued me on what I was supposed to do. They told me how good I was doing. I like them."

Leading Tennessee's efforts to land the talented freshman is cornerbacks coach Derrick Ansley and defensive coordinator Sal Sunseri.

"Coach Sunseri, he was the first one I talked to. I really like him," the freshman said.

This season Miller will play outside linebacker for Madison Academy in a 3-4 base defense as well as playing running back for the Mustangs. The experience in the 3-4 defense over the next few years will allow Miller to "fit in real well" will coach Sunseri's defense at Tennessee.

Part of Tennessee's pitch to Miller last week and over the next few years undoubtedly will include the rich success that former Vols from Northern Alabama have had on Rocky Top, including Joey Kent, Jayson Swain and Condredge Holloway, whom Miller met in the halls of the Neyland-Thompson Sports Complex.

Miller plans to attend a game this fall in Neyland Stadium and remain in contact with Ansley and Sunseri. Their message to the linebacker was clear.

"Keep working hard, try to get better every year and there is a chance that I can come to Tennessee," Miller said.

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