E.A. Sports Today

Versatile Miller’s stock rising

Versatile Anniston junior Tae Miller runs a route during summer workouts.

Versatile Anniston junior Tae Miller runs a route during summer workouts.

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

Tae Miller has a lot of skills. He can catch it. He can run it. He can return it. He can even throw it if the need arises. He can defend it, too.

For all the rising junior can do on a football field, it’s little wonder Anniston coach Eddie Bullock says he’s “kind of excited about the way we’ll be able to use him” this season.

It’s already been a busy and productive summer for Miller. He drew raves in the National Underclassmen Southeast Combine in June and is in the Rising Stars camp at the University of Oklahoma this weekend, preventing him from joining the Bulldogs in Saturday’s Piedmont 7-on-7 camp.

The upper-level camp circuit has been an eye-opener for him.

“I’ve been in a lot of camps,” he said. “It’s really new, going against people I haven’t played against before, the competition, just being around people who’ve been in the League or big-time colleges, people going to big-time colleges.

“These guys have been here and I’m just coming up. Because they’ve been up there, I set behind them and watch how they do things and then do it my way. I feed off their energy.”

Bullock has never doubted Miller would do well in such an important situation for his future because “he has a great work ethic.” He may already have mastered the biggest challenge of camp life – recognizing the margin within the talent around you isn’t as wide as you might have thought and respecting the competition.

“What this gives him is a chance to get outside the box,” Bullock said. “Our kids feel like their competition is within the county. We have a lot of great competition in the county now, but that’s not who you’re actually competing against (for spots at the next level).

“You’re competing against the entire state of Alabama — and then the region; the county’s just a small part of that. You want to set your sights statewide and then you want to move region-wide, so those camps are important because he’s going to meet top athletes from other states and it gives him a chance to see how his talent measures up against them.”

So far, Miller appears to be holding his own. He recently received his first series of rankings and said they listed him as the No. 22 underclassman prospect in the Southeast (No. 2 among receivers), eighth in the state and No. 1 at his position.

It’s heady stuff, but something he hopes encourages those in the Bulldogs’ huddle.

“It motivates me to push the younger guys and try to get them to follow in my path and do better than I was doing,” he said. “I learned how to do the camps and stuff so late. I want them to learn early and be able to get in it and work hard at what they want to do in life. It really pushes me a lot.”

At least one Anniston teammate has felt his influence.

“Whatever he’s learning I want to learn and what he’s already learned he’s teaching me so I’ll know what to do,” Hakeem Ross said. “He loves working, he loves where he can get better and that’s what I’m trying to do. That’s what he’s trying to get everybody else to do.”

Ultimately, Miller wants to be a receiver on the next level, but he said “a lot of people” have been pushing him to go as an athlete. At this stage in the recruiting process, he said he “really likes” LSU, but he’s also interested in Alabama, Georgia and Florida.

If he continues to progress as he has on the camp trail this summer, there will be a lot of programs lining up to pursue him.

Al Muskewitz is Content Editor/Senior Writer of East Alabama Sports Today. He can be reached at musky@wrightmediacorp.com and followed on Twitter @easportstoday1.

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