SoCal defender visits the Northwest

Unofficial visits are the lifeblood of early recruiting. As witnessed this weekend, Washington head coach Tyrone Willingham and his staff are busy hosting players on visits the prospects pay for themselves. One player who recently took a whirlwind tour of the Pacific Northwest on his own dime is Westlake Village (Calif.) HS DE/DT Jeff Miller.

"Oh the visits went really well," Miller told on Friday. "On Friday (Jeff, his father and a friend) visited Oregon State in Corvalis and then we headed up to Oregon for their Junior Day on Saturday. I met with their coaches and saw their campuses, they were really nice. Each of them were in a small college town and that was different than what I'm used to, but I liked it.

"On Saturday night we flew up to Seattle and stayed the night and then on Sunday we visited Washington. That was a really nice visit too. Then on Sunday we flew into Spokane and spent the next day with the Washington State coaches. That was really nice too."

Washington recruiting coordinator and linebackers coach Chris Tormey and defensive line coach Randy Hart were the first to greet Miller and his entourage on the Washington campus, but it was a different coach that made a big impression on him. "We spent about an hour and a half with coach Willingham in his office," Miller said. "He's a good coach and a great man. We talked about his philosophy on football and life. We also talked about his expectations for the team.

"It was just a really great visit. I had never been to that area before. I really liked the weather a lot too."

Right now Miller claims offers from more than 15 colleges including UCLA, Arizona State, Arizona, Oregon State, Oregon, Washington State, Boston College, Colorado, Oklahoma, Mississippi and Nebraska. Washington hasn't offered yet, but Miller said that might just be a matter of time.

"The Washington coaches said they wanted to see some of my game film," Miller said. "They said if they like what they see, they could offer pretty soon."

If that happens, would Miller jump on it?

"I would definitely have them up there pretty high if that happened," Miller said laughing.

Miller said he doesn't have a leader but he does list seven schools that have piqued his interest more than the others. "Oregon, Oregon State, Washington State, Oklahoma, UCLA, Arizona State and Washington are the ones I'm really concentrating on," Miller said noting once again that there is no leader among those seven. "I've already visited five of those schools and this Tuesday I'm heading out to Norman to visit Oklahoma and then on our way back we are going to stop by Arizona State.

"I would like to make a decision before the season starts, but if I don't feel ready, I won't make one."

Most schools are looking at Miller along the defensive line at either tackle or end, but he can also play some tight end. "We didn't really throw the ball enough for teams to recruit me as a tight end, but I can play anywhere," Miller said. "I prefer defense, but I just want the chance to play and get on the field, so it doesn't really matter too much to me."

Keep an eye on this standout from California, Husky fans could be hearing a lot more from him very soon. Jeff Miller Profile Top Stories