Location, Location, Location

Many different factors can figure into a young man's decision on where to play college football, but for West Virginia's latest commitment, it was pretty much a matter of proximity.

Beechcroft High School's Julian Miller was down to Illinois and West Virginia as his final two, but found a lot of the same things to like about both institutions. The coaching staffs at both schools hit it off with Miller, making him feel very comfortable. However, those factors also made it difficult to make a choice. Miller delayed his decision a couple of times while mulling things over, but finally chose West Virginia on Tuesday. One of the determining factors was WVU's location.

"The distance from home, and from some of my family was important," said the Columbus, Oh. star. "My father is originally from Philadelphia, and he has family there, so it will be easier for all of them to come and watch me play."

It wasn't as if Illinois was light years away from Columbus, of course, but WVU's more central location, at least in terms relative to Miller's family, proved to be an important point. So too was recruiting coach Bruce Tall, whose personality meshed with the easy-going Miller's.

"Coach Tall did an excellent job recruiting me," Miller said. "For example, every school would send things for me to read, but the things he sent were really focused on me. It may me excited to open everything I got with that WV on it. And then when I met him in person, he was just the coolest guy ever."

Tall won't get to coach Miller, who is ticketed for a spot at defensive end. That job will fall to defensive line coach Bill Kirelawich, who sees a lot of potential in WVU's newest commitment.

"I was watching a practice when I was there on a visit, and Coach Kirelawich was telling me how I'd fit in," Miller recalled. "He said he needed some pass rushing defensive ends who could get after the quarterback, and that's my position."

Miller's exposure to the Mountaineer defense didn't begin on that trip to West Virginia, however. The lanky defender has actually been keeping an eye on WVU for several years.

"I've been watching West Virginia since I was a freshman," Miller explained. "I watched several schools. Of course, Ohio State, and Miami, USC and Texas, and West Virginia was right in there too. Coach [John] Dunlap (Beechcroft's head coach) shows our offense films of West Virginia's offense all the time. But I'd watch their defense when I got the chance."

Those ties, plus the location factor, ended up being enough to tip the scales in favor of West Virginia. Miller plans to visit WVU for a couple of games during the season before taking his official visit, which will probably occur in December.

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