Decision Time?

Defensive end prospect Julian Miller thought he would make his college decision last week, but a conversation with his mother pushed the timetable back.

"I talked with my mother about it, and I decided to think about it a little more," said Miller, a standout defensive end at talent-laden Beechcroft High School in Columbus, Oh. "It's not going to be too long, though. I plan to make my decision tomorrow (Monday)."

Miller, who also plays tight end for Beechcroft, will choose between Illinois and West Virginia, and is slated to play on the defensive side of the ball no matter which school he chooses.

"I told the coaches at both school I'd do everything I could to put the weight on I need to play defensive end," said the well-spoken senior, who stands almost 6-5 and weighs 220 pounds. "I know I have to do that to play end in college."

In this era where speed trumps all, Miller doesn't want to gain so much weight that it negates his quickness. He counts his containment skills, along with pursuit and rushing the passer, as some of the items that attracted schools to him. His 4.65 speed in the 40-yard dash certainly doesn't hurt either.

Miller hasn't yet made his final decision, but admitted to having a leader between the Illini and Mountaineers. However, the decision hasn't been made yet, and he notes that both schools have one thing that put them above the others on his list.

"Definitely the coaching staffs," the all-city and all-district selection noted. "They have been great through the entire recruiting process, and that is what put them up so high. I want to go somewhere I fit in, and they helped me feel that way."

Although he had offers from schools such as Boston College, Louisville, Indiana, Cincinnati, Kentucky, Connecticut, Marshall, Eastern Michigan, Toledo, and Kent State, it has been Illinois and West Virginia at the top of his list for a long time.

"Even with all the others, I didn't really consider anyone else," the well-spoken Miller said. "And now, I want to get the decision done so I can focus on my team and help it get to the states."

Miller has had a good bit of outside help to draw on as he makes his choice. Beechcroft has produced a number of outstanding players over the past few years, and Miller has taken the chance to learn from several of them as they went through the recruiting process.

"My freshman year, I watched Sirjo Welch, who went to Ohio State. Then I watched Erik Heller and Mike Alston, who both went to Toledo. From knowing them and watching what they did and how the worked through the recruiting process, I think I learned some things.

"I have talked with my mother a lot too," Miller continued. "She has been talking with me a lot, and she took me to visit the schools. She didn't know anything about the process at first. She wasn't expecting any of this to happen -- she didn't expect me to be as good as I was. She started to realize it last year, when the letters came in, but she still didn't believe all of it, because she had seen other people get letters. But when she was hearing about the coaches coming to the school to talk to me, and I started getting phone calls, that's when she finally knew it was real."

Miller plans to major in sports management or sports medicine, but before he decides on a major, he has to pick a school. That step, after a brief delay, is expected soon.

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